Stretches to try for the whole body
Recovery after physical activity starts with the “cool down”. After a high-intensity workout or strength session, the best thing you can do is stretch that fatigue out of your muscles and restore your joints’ range of motion. This can help get the blood circulating back through the tissues and kick start that recovery process. Stretching can also help prevent muscles stiffness, soreness, and injury in the coming days. Injuries commonly occur to muscles that have been previously fatigued. So it goes without saying (but I’ll say it) that you should focus on stretching the muscles you have worked on in a session.
Below are examples of two stretches for each muscle group you can use in your next cool-down session. My general rule of thumb is to hold the stretch for 12 seconds before letting go and don’t forget to perform the movements on both sides of your body!
Lat Lean and twist
Cat / Cow / Downward dog
Figure 4 Stretch
Knee to chest
Hip Flexor Stretch
Heel to bum stretch
Hanging hamstring stretch
Long Lunge stretch
Rear arm lifts
Overhead Triceps stretch
Thread the needle
Standing lean overs
Make sure you stretch your neck out as well! The neck and upper traps are where we hold a lot of our tension from stress and anxiety.
The benefit of regular stretching can be increased flexibility, more energy, less fatigue, and increased circulation – just to name a few. Have a crack at these next time you are cooling down after a workout. Trust me, this is worth the time!
Come and speak to one of our friendly staff members in the gym if you’d like to know more about stretching for recovery.
Looking for that extra bit of motivation?