One of the most neglected parts of an exercise regime is the stretching after a strenuous workout. After a tiring workout, you’re dripping sweat and craving for your post-workout meal – the stretching mat is the last place you want to be.
But there are many reasons why you must dedicate at least a five minutes of gym-time to stretching. There is a right way to warm up before a workout and to cool down after it.
Here are 12 static stretches for you to perform after your workout:
1. Hamstring Stretch
- Stand up straight. Place the leg to be stretched just in front of the other one.
- Bend the back knee and then lean forward from the hips.
- Place your hands on the thigh of the bent leg. Lean forward till you can feel a stretch.
2. Quadriceps Stretch
- Stand up straight. Lift one leg off the floor backwards.
- Use your hand to hold the ankle, keeping the knee fully flexed. Pressing your hips slightly forward stretches the quadriceps and the hip flexors.
3. Lying Quadricep Stretch
- First lie down on your left side.
- Bend your right knee backwards and hold onto the top of your foot with your right hand. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Extend your hips, thrusting them slightly forward to increase the stretch in the front of your thigh. Now release the stretch.
- Turn onto your right side, and stretch your left quad.
3. Seated Groin Stretch
- Sit down on the floor.
- Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees drop to the sides.
- Without overly bending in the lower back, press your feet together using your hands and pull your heels as close to your body as you can.
4. Low Back Stretch
- Lie on the back, with both knees bent. Keep your feet planted on the floor.
- Raise one knee towards the chest holding it there using both hands. Now bring the other knee also up towards the chest.
- Hold both knees firmly and bring them down towards the chest. You should feel a gentle stretch in your lower back. Hold for 30 seconds and then release.
5. Abdominal Stretch
Lay down with your face facing the floor and your hands below your shoulders. Point your feet in the downwards direction in order to strengthen your spine. Push your torso in the upwards direction, try to raise your hips off the floor to a very little extent. Stay there in the same position for a while. Now slowly get yourself back to the initial/starting position.
6. Glutes Stretch
Lying on your back, with your feet flat on the floor, cross your right ankle over your left knee. Place both hands behind the back of your left thigh. Bring your legs up toward your body. Try and create resistance by pressing against your hands. This will intensify the stretch. Hold on each side for at least 40 seconds.
7. Posterior Shoulder Stretch
Cross one arm across the body. Place the other arm on the elbow of the outstretched arm. Pull the elbow towards the chest, and hold the stretch for ten seconds. Release, and repeat the same for the other arm.
8. Front Shoulder Stretch
Stand near a doorway and lift your arm, holding it straight and parallel to the floor. Grab on to the frame of the door and gently lean forward, which will extend your arm behind your shoulder and create a stretch in your chest, upper arm and anterior deltoid muscles. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch and do the other side. Repeat three to five times consecutively.
9. Tricep Stretch
Raise your left arm straight overhead, then bend it so your left hand is on the middle of your upper back. Your biceps and forearm should be touching. Reach over with your right hand and grasp your left elbow on the top, so your right palm faces down. Pull your left elbow gently toward your right side until you feel a stretch in your left triceps. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
10. Wrist Stretch
Extend your arm in front of you with your palm down. Bend your wrist, pointing your hand toward the floor. With your other hand, gently bend your wrist farther until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearm.Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
11. Calf Stretch
Keep your right leg forward, foot flat on the floor, and extend your left leg straight back, placing your heel flat on the floor. Don’t bend your back knee. Lean into the wall until you feel the stretch in the calf of the straight leg. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.