The Best Post-Workout Stretches
Exercise is an important part of your routine, but it can leave your muscles tight and aching. To minimise these aches, while also improving your flexibility, it’s best to do some post-workout stretches that will help your muscles to relax. These stretches will also help you cool down and slow down your heart rate.
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you. Maintain a straight back while reaching towards your toes – even if you can’t touch them – and hold.
Lie on your back and bring your knees up to your chest. Cross your right leg over your left thigh, grasp the back of the left thigh with both hands and pull that left leg towards your chest. Hold this position then repeat with the opposite leg.
Lie on your back and raise your right leg, keeping your left leg bent with your foot on the floor. Hold the right leg straight up in the air, then repeat with the opposite leg.
Inner Thigh Stretch
Sit down with your back straight and bend your legs inwards, putting the soles of your feet together while holding onto your feet. While holding this position, try to lower your knees towards the floor.
Lie flat on your belly. Put your hands on the floor and, pushing into them, straighten your arms – just as you would if doing a press-up. However, instead of lifting your whole body from the ground, you should arch your back, lifting your thighs from the ground but keeping your feet and the bottom half of your legs on the floor.
Stand about 10 inches away from a wall and place your palms on it. Step back with your right foot and bend your left knee, keeping the right heel down. Hold, then repeat on the opposite side.
Stand at the bottom of a flight of stairs with the balls of your feet on the edge of the bottom step. Gently allow your heels to drop, and hold. Make sure you use a staircase where there are bannisters on both sides for you to hold onto for support. You can do one heel at a time or both at the same time – just take extra care when doing both!
All of these stretch positons should be held for around 10-15 seconds. The stretches are simple, and taking the time to do them will help your body reset to a natural position and posture, reducing the amount of soreness and stiffness you feel later on. Over time, doing these stretches will also increase your range of motion. You don’t need to stretch every muscle after a workout – focus on ones that have been particularly tightened by the exercises you’ve just engaged in.