Stretching…Because I Have To

Which is worse…the workout or the day after the workout?  For me it’s definitely the day after.  Ahhhhh whaaaaa, the pain!!  I groan from the moment I wake up until the next day when I drag my ass back to the gym.  Why do I do this to myself??  Ummmm, because my thighs insist on fighting me with threats of totally going flabby and therefore I’m perpetually sore.  At 38 I have come to the conclusion that if I want to be able to get up the next day from a workout I HAVE to do a proper post recovery session.  That includes about 10 minutes of foam rolling, 20 minutes of stretching, followed by lots of water and a super dose of protein.

I believe that no matter your fitness level or age, we all need to stretch warmed up muscles, even more so if you are exercising.  For me, foam rolling is brutal and pretty much hurts the entire time — while stretching is relaxing and oh so soothing.  I can’t wait to get to the stretching…I actually fantasize about it while I’m working out.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m no Yogi or some super limber chick that can tuck my head between my knees while standing, but shucks I do the best I can.

A couple years ago my darling yoga instructor helped me develop an awesome 20-minute full body stretching routine I can do without her and thankfully so because half of my workouts are done while traveling.  No matter what type of workout session I’ve done, I stick pretty close to this total body routine.

Sun salutations


Sun Salutation

Take big and deep breaths — Repeat 5 times.

Downward Dog


Downward Dog

Inhale 3 secs & exhale 3 secs — Repeat breathing 3 times.

Warrior II Modified


Warrior II Modified

Hold and inhale 3 secs & exhale 3 secs –- Repeat 3 times on each side.

Forward Lunge


Forward Lunge

Hold and inhale 3 secs & exhale 3 secs –- Repeat 3 times on each side.

Shoulder/Chest


Shoulder & Chest

Hold and inhale 3 secs & exhale 3 secs –- Repeat 3 times on each side.

Back Stretch with Legs Crossed


Back Stretch with Legs Crossed

Hold and inhale 3 secs & exhale 3 secs – Repeat 3 times on each side.

Crossed Leg Hug


Crossed Legged Hug

Hold and inhale 3 secs & exhale 3 secs – Repeat 3 times on each side.

Neck and Arm Circles


Neck & Arm Cirlces

10 slow rotations left and right for both neck and arms.

Abductors


Abductors

Hold and inhale 3 secs & exhale 3 secs –- Repeat 3 times.

Body Hug on Back (feet flexed)


Body Hug on Back

Hold and inhale 3 secs & exhale 3 secs –- Repeat 3 times. Rock side to side for a little back massage.

Bent Knee Circles


Bent Knee Cirlcles

5 rotations in both directions.

Leg Extension Legs Down (feet flexed)


Leg Extension Legs Down

Hold and inhale 3 secs & exhale 3 secs –- Repeat 3 times on each side.

Leg Extension Legs Up (feet flexed)


Leg Extensions Legs Up

Hold and inhale 3 secs & exhale 3 secs –- Repeat 3 times on each side.

Tush Stretch


Tush Stretch

Balance and hold — Inhale 3 secs & exhale 3 secs –- Repeat 3 times on each side.

Bent Over Swing


Bent Over Swing

10 slow swings left and right.

I hope you’ll try adding this to your fitness routine!

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