Did you know stretching is one of the keys to reducing post workout soreness? Well it is! Incorporating some stretches into your post-workout routine is a great way to lengthen the muscles, increase mobility, and reduce muscle soreness. Since we have limited time in group fitness classes and training sessions, we aren't able to do a lot of stretching so it is up to you to get it done. When in doubt, a rule of thumb is to use YouTube and look up stretches for specific muscle groups/regions such as chest, back, arms, and neck.
In this post, I am going to go through some of my stretches that I use on days with a lot of leg exercises. These are also really great for cardio training days as well. If you stretch properly, you won't hurt yourself and at the very least will increase your range of motion in the areas where you stretch. So even if it isn't leg day, doing these stretches will help you in one way or another.
Flamingo (Quadriceps) - grab you foot with the same side hand pulling your foot up towards your butt
Straight Down (Hamstrings) - with your feet together reach down towards your toes
Right Over Left & Left Over Right (Hamstrings) - cross your right leg over your left leg so that the outside edges of your feet are together and reach down to your toes; do the opposite for the other side
Lateral Lunge Stretch (Hamstrings) - go into a lateral lunge with feet wider than shoulder width apart and lean to one side; you should feel the stretch run down your straight leg, stretch both the left and the right
Wide Stance Straight Down (Hamstrings) - keeping the same foot width apart as the last exercise, bend down and reach towards the ground
Hip Flexor Stretch - enter into a partial forward lunge, you should feel the stretch in the pelvic region on the front of your back leg; stretch both left and right sides
Achilles Stretch - press your foot up against a stationary object, leg straight (don't lock your knee) until you feel a stretch in your calf area
ON THE GROUND STRETCHES
Toe Touchers (Hamstrings) - legs straight out in front of you, reach for your toes
Figure Four (Hamstrings & Hips) - keep one leg straight out, bend the other leg that your foot rests against the inside of your opposite thigh just above the knee; complete for both left and right
Butterfly (Groin) - put your feet in together so the soles of your shoes are pressed against each other, then pull your feet in towards your body and drive your knees down towards the ground
Knee Huggers (Glutes) - keep one leg straight out, pull the other leg with a bent knee towards your body while sitting up, it should look and feel like you are hugging that knee; complete for both left and right
Newspaper (Glutes/Hips) - bend one leg and then place your ankle of your opposite leg onto your thigh (pretend you are reading a newspaper that's held by your legs); push that opposite leg's knee away from your body
*If these directions are confusing to you, PLEASE ask for assistance the next time you see us or look up the stretches online. They're pretty commonly used so you should be able to find a video or photos of someone completing all of the stretches listed above.