Stretching after Workouts
Stretching and Flexibility
Stretching is an important part of fitness; It can increase the range of motion, improve blood circulation, calm the mind, fend off injuries and aid in good sleep. Stretching gradually increases flexibility and regular stretching could stimulate adaptations of muscles and other tissues that bring about lasting increment in flexibility.
Flexibility is defined as the range of motion within a joint along the various planes of motion. Within each joint there is an optimal range of motion (ROM) that is essential for peak performance. Stretching refers to the process of elongating the muscles to improve ROM.
Everyone can get flexible if they work at it. With regular training, muscles adapt and respond to flexibility. Everyday observations suggest the same because ballet dancers and yoga teachers, who stretch a lot, tend to be more flexible than others.
Exercises and Stretching
During an exercise regimen lactic acid builds up in muscles leading to muscle soreness and fatigue. Exercise can shorten a person’s muscles, decreasing mobility over time. Stretching keeps the muscles flexible and joints at their fullest range of motion.
Benefits of Stretching after Exercises
Stretching after exercise gives the mind a chance to tune into the body. When we breathe through a stretch we pay attention to any aches and pains in the body. This mind-body connection relaxes and relieves stress. Stretching calms the nerves and relaxes the mind. Stretching reduces the risk of injury, reduces soreness experienced after exercise, or enhances sporting performance. The best time to stretch is a post workout stretch when our muscles are flexible, warmed up and relaxed.
Major benefits of stretching:
The quadriceps, or quads for short, is the muscle group in the front of thigh used for walking, running, or lunging.
To stretch your quads:
Hamstring / Calf stretch
The hamstrings are the muscles along the back of upper leg, running from thigh to the knee. They help you to bend your knee and move your hip. These muscles are used while playing sports or running.
To stretch both muscle groups together:
Inner thigh stretch
The inner thigh muscles help to stabilize your hip and knee joints. Exercises that focus on working inner thighs are often recommended to tone and strengthen the legs.
To stretch your inner thighs:
This stretch works your lower back, hamstring, calf, and ankle. All of these areas are used in your daily activities, and while running or biking.
To perform this stretch: