Stretching has been becoming more popular as the best form of weightloss for many reasons. It can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can calm your mind and make you feel more relaxed after a stressful day.
I am on my feet for 9 hours a day and I workout. I have found stretching to be a very important part of my routine. My legs often get sore. After a workout, my muscles need a stretch to reduce the tightness and pain. Other benefits of stretching include better movement of the joints, improved posture and it can help with back pain.
With the stress of the holidays, I have found myself stretching more to help me sleep. Below is a list of my favorite stretches to wind down.
The pike is performed with your legs straight out in front of you while your sitting or close together if you are standing. You reach your hands all the way to your toes. If you are more flexible, you can reach your legs under your feet.
This is one of my favorite stretches. It is great at helping you stretch your calves and has multiple variations to stretch more than just the legs. It can be done while sitting on the floor or standing. The different variations can help with your spine and hips.
My favorite way to do the pike is while sitting on the floor because I feel like I get a deeper stretch in my legs. I have a hard time finding a good calf stretch that works for my level of flexibility.
While kneeling on the ground, you bend backwards with your hands reaching back to grab your feet. This move isn’t easy and can take a lot of time to be able to reach back far enough to grab your feet.
I like this move because it helps me to really stretch my thighs and my chest. I am not flexible enough to bend backwards all the way comfortably but I am getting there. If you are looking for a good thigh stretch, I recommend this one a try.
This move is performed while laying on your back. You place your fingers around your big toe and pull your legs close to your chest. Make sure your legs are wide so you can feel a stretch in your hips. You can move your back from side to side to massage your back.
I like this move because it helps open my hips without hurting them because they are still tight. I highly recommend if you need a good back massage and want to start on your flexibility.
Needle In A Haystack
This is a great stretch if you have just worked your arms and upper back. This move is done by getting into puppy pose. Place one arm through your other arm across under the arm pit. If you twist yourself a little, you will feel your upper back stretch.
This has become my new favorite move. I usually workout using my own body weight instead of using heavy weights or equipment. This works my shoulders a lot more harder. This helps me so much when I need a deep shoulder stretch.
I have done this move almost every day after I workout. This has helped so much with opening my hips. My right hip is very flexible but my left hip still has a ways to go.
This move is done by sitting down. You cross your legs with them stacked on top of each other. If your hips are very tight, you can start by pressing your knee down. If you are more flexible, I find that reaching forward helps open my hips up even more.
What are your favorite stretches to calm yourself?