If you’re trying to shed pounds and trim down this spring, your mind is most likely occupied with thoughts of crunches and cardio. But here’s a less agonizing but no less important activity to consider: stretching.
The results of stretching can be both seen and felt. Stretching will increase your range of motion, allowing you further extension when performing activities like running or lunging. Plus, it’ll also help to limit the soreness that you feel after a workout. As we’re sure you know all too well, there’s nothing that’ll crush your workout motivation faster than feeling residual soreness in your muscles from last time.
Although it’s tough to guarantee zero soreness the day after a workout, proper stretching will go a long way towards making your life easier. Here are a few stretching technique tips to get you started.
Be sure to stretch only after your muscles are warmed up. Stretching before you engage in activity can actually increase your risk of injury. So aim to make stretching an institution – but at the tail-end of your workout.
Take your time. Because you’ll be stretching after you’ve completed the majority of your workout, there may be a tendency to rush it a bit. After all, you may be mere minutes away from leisure. But spending adequate time stretching each muscle group makes a huge difference. Shoot for at least 30 seconds in each position.
Breathe. Focus on your breathing while you stretch – each time you exhale, try to sink a little bit deeper into the position. This will help you to relax your muscles and thus allow them to be further lengthened.