Best Stretches Pre & Post Workout
There are many benefits to regular stretching. It can help your posture, improve your flexibility, and prevent injuries. Stretching preps your body for the workout ahead and cools down your body afterward. The more you stretch, the more your muscles can do! Below are Melissa Preece PT, DPT, and Hayley Poland PT, DPT favorite stretches to do before and after a workout.
Warm-up dynamic stretches:
High Knees- Begin jogging in place, lifting your knees as high as you can. Try to lift your knees up to hip level but keep your core tight to support your back.
Jumping Jacks- Begin standing straight with your arms flat at your side. Jump up, pushing feet and arms outward. Arms touch at the top, legs shoulder-width apart, repeat.
Frankenstein Kicks- Stand with your legs together and one arm extended. Step and kick the opposite leg straight up. Try to touch your toe with your hand then return as you walk forward. Repeat, alternating sides.
Open the gate- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands at the waist. Lift your left knee up to waist level and then move it out to the side. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
Static stretches after workout:
Calf Stretch- Stand with your foot slightly in front of the other, bend your knees slightly while keeping your back knee straight, and your heel on the ground, lean forward, hold, and relax, and then repeat with your other leg.
Hamstring Stretch- Extend one leg out by placing the heel on a slightly raised surface, such as a stair or curb.Keeping the spine straight, bend at the hip to bring the chest toward the thigh. The other leg that is not being stretched will also bend slightly at the knee. Hold this stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
Prayer Stretch- Keeping your knees the same width as your hips, bend forward at your waist, and extend your arms over your head and onto the floor in front of you. Extend until you feel the stretch in your lower back and hold this position for 30-60 seconds and return to the starting kneeling position.