It’s a well known fact that you should stretch before physical activity, but did you know that doing certain stretches regularly can help increase your flexibility and range of movement? Here are a few great stretches you can start to include into your daily routine!
Bench Chest Stretch
Lie down on a bench with a light weight in each hand. Press your lower back into the bench and stretch your arms out at shoulder-level with palms facing up. Let gravity and the light dumbbells slowly stretch your biceps and chest. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times. This stretch loosens the tightness in your pectorals and gets blood flowing throughout your chest/arms.
Lie flat on your back. Cross the right ankle over the left knee, forming the shape of the number 4, but backwards. Hold your left thigh with both hands, with your right hand between your legs, rather than on the outside of your right leg. Bend the left leg up toward your chest and flex both feet to protect your joints. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, then repeat on opposite side.This will ease any lower back soreness as well as help relieve tight hamstrings and glutes.
Lie on your back, pull your knees to your chest. Lift legs straight up and while they’re extended, lower them down to your left side, holding for 10 seconds. Bring them back up, and lower them down to the right side, holding for 10 seconds once more.This will stretch out the back while loosening up knots from sleeping.
Standing Side Bend
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Raise the left arm up and overhead and keep your right arm down by your side. Tighten your abdominals and bend at the waist toward your right side, lowering your right arm toward the floor as you go. Pause for a few seconds, then slowly come back to the start position. Repeat on the other side, 10 reps each. This warms up and prepares the serratus, a muscle that helps with actions like throwing or punching.