Look. We get it. Life is super busy.
We're here to tell you that not all exercise has to be an intense HIIT workout to be effective. Have you ever tried stretching?
Stretching prepares the body for activity and has been found to boost healing. But, not all stretching is created equal.
Your stretches must be related to your activity. This ensures that your muscles, tendons and ligaments are activated in a way that prepares your body for exercise. By focusing your stretch session you’ll be able to reduce your likelihood of getting injured and boost your flexibility.
In addition to pre/post workout stretches, you should also aim to incorporate a stretch session into your daily routine to mobilise joints, and boost productivity. A full body stretch is a great way to do that.
Looking for a full body stretch routine for beginners? It's time to reset your posture. Here’s a great 5 minute routine for a complete body stretch:
High Knee Hamstring Hug
For a quick stretch routine for the hamstrings, stand with feet shoulder width apart. Stand on your left leg and lift your right leg up. Hug your knee into your chest and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.
The high knee hamstring hug stretches your glutes and increases hip mobility.
Offset Leg Lunge
Next up in our total body stretch session is the offset leg lunge.
Stand straight, and take one large step forward with your right leg. Go into a deep lunge. Your right leg should be at a 90 degree angle and your back knee should almost touch the floor. Then, put your left hand on the floor near your right instep. Reach up to the sky with your right arm. Your arms should be in a straight line. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Do the same with the other leg and arm. Stretches your groin area and legs.
Whilst adding some serious impact to your full body stretching routine, the offset leg lunge also mobilises your thoracic spine, stretches out your chest area and activates your core. Nice.
Lying Glute Stretch
Now for the glutes. Many people search for advice around how to stretch glutes, from fear of injury.
So, lie on your back and bend both knees, keeping your feet on the floor. Bring your left ankle up and place it on your right thigh. Loop your hands around your right thigh. Pull your right leg it into your chest. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat with the other leg.
This step of your 5 minute full body stretch opens up your hips and stretches your glutes whilst preventing sudden twisting. The satisfaction from this one is real.
Standing Shoulder Stretch
In the final step of your full body stretch, hold your right arm out straight then pull your right arm into your chest with your left forearm. Hold for 20 seconds then release. Now, raise your right arm over your head and bend your elbow so that your right hand is behind your left shoulder. Press gently on your right elbow with your left hand and hold for 20 seconds.
How was your total body stretch session? Pretty good, right? Whether you're looking for tips on how to stretch glutes, how to stretch your back, or how to stretch legs, we hope that the above tips will get you well on your way to relaxation.
The benefits of stretching are pretty impressive, with research indicating that stretching not only reduces your risk of injury, but has been seen to reduce anxiety and exhaustion, too.
If you're looking for some further inspiration, check out the below articles, and make sure you're supplementing your exercise routine with The Health Protein for optimum results.
- Simple Stretches To Relax Tense Shoulders
- 9 Easy Stretching Exercises That Will Increase Flexibility
- The 7 Best Stretches To Do Before Running
- 5 Tips For Looking After Your Back
- Montero-Marin, J., Asún, S., Estrada-Marcen, N., Romero, R., & Asun, R. (2013). Effectiveness of a stretching program on anxiety levels of workers in a logistic platform: a randomized controlled study. Atención primaria, 45(7), 376-383. Click here.
- (2004) Stretching: Mechanisms and Benefits for Sport Performance and Injury Prevention, Physical Therapy Reviews, 9:4, 189-206. Click here.