Stretching is one of the most important -and most often skipped- parts of a pre-workout routine. Stretching before a workout helps get your body in motion, get blood flowing to critical muscles, and loosen up your joints.
Taking a few minutes (a good 5-10 will do the trick!) to warm up before stretching is always a good idea! That’s why we wrote this article on how to warm up before you jump into your pre-workout stretches. That way, you will significantly reduce the risk of injury. Stretching will also help you get the most out of your workout. That’s right! Taking time to stretch before your workout will help you go harder when the buzzer sounds.
Here are three of the best pre-workout stretches:
Lunge and Twist
We love this two-part stretch because it targets so many muscles at once, saving you time. You’ll hit the hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, upper back, and middle back with the Lunge and Twist. As an added bonus, you’ll also get some much-needed core rotation, which is often neglected.
Start in a forward lunge (remember -- your knee should not pass your toes at any point in a lunge!). Once you have the perfect lunging position, drop your hips low and rotate your torso/upper body toward/in the direction of the front leg. If your right leg is forward, you’ll rotate toward the right.
Hold for a few seconds and then repeat the same with the other leg. Do everything slowly and with control. Boom! You’re already almost done!
The High Kick is a serious glute and hamstring stretch! But listen to your body with this move, to avoid hyperextension.
Extend your left arm out in front of you, palm down, and keep it straight. Determine how high your arm should be by making sure that when you lift your leg up, you feel a SLIGHT stretch in the hamstring. You should feel it, but it should not be painful!
Kick your leg up to tap your toes against your palm, and slowly lower your leg back to the ground. Repeat the same with the right side after a few kicks. Remember -- don’t kick too fast or too hard; this should be a controlled, fluid movement. Gradually raise the height of your palm as your hamstrings begin to loosen up.
Knee to Chest
The old knee-to-chest stretch is a great way to stretch and activate the muscles in your legs. This stretch is popular with MMA and Muay Thai fighters as it simulates one of the sport’s most important movements.
As the name would imply, you’ll start by bringing your knee to your chest, while standing first. Hug your shin gently while keeping your leg held close to your chest. You’ll be balancing on the opposite leg at this point, which gives you a powerful stretch-activation combo!
For an extra level, try to raise your toes on the balancing leg. Hold this stretch for few seconds on each leg.
And that’s all! Three simple movements to a safer, more powerful workout.
See a Sports Chiropractor In North Houston
Visiting a Sports Chiropractor instead of a traditional chiropractor is a great idea for athletes and beginners alike. Sports chiropractic is specifically aimed at the treatment and prevention of injuries in sports. If you’re just starting a workout plan after a long period of inactivity, schedule a consultation with Dr. Stark for an evaluation and guidance so you can work out with confidence and direction.
Dr. Stark is a Sports Chiropractor and a certified EMT in North Houston.
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