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7 awesome stretches for after a workout

Posted by Joe Wicks - 83 Days Ago in: Fitness

Having a good stretch after a workout is super important and can help to ease DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and more importantly prevent you from picking up any needless injuries.

Here at The Body Coach HQ, fitness co-ordinator Ben Davie makes sure my heroes stay flexible with daily morning stretching sessions throughout the week. In this blog post, Ben shares his top post workout stretches that will help you stay flexible, prevent injury and easy aches and pains.

As fitness co-ordinator at The Body Coach, exercising is a crucial part of my day-to-day routine. The nature of HIIT can be taxing on the body so it is really important to ensure I can move my body well and stay mobile.

Stretching after a workout allows me to retain and increase flexibility, and it's a perfect time to do it as your muscles are warm and supple. Stretching can also reduces the risk of injury and allows the body to recover efficiently. Below are my top stretches to use after an intense workout:

Hip flexor stretch

Where does this stretch? 

Hip flexors, chest, shoulders.

Instructions:

From a high plank position, lunge the left foot wide of your hand then open out your chest by raising your arm towards your left side to increase the stretch. Breathe and hold for 30 seconds on each side.

Stretch benefits:

This stretch is one of my favourite stretches and is perfect to use not only post-workout but also for day-to-day mobility. Often, we find ourselves with tight hip flexors due to lots of sitting and this will be perfect to incorporate into your routine to counter balance this.

Seated hamstring

Where does this stretch?

Hamstring, calf.

Instructions:

Resting on your bum with your legs straight out in front of you, raise your arms above your head, take a good controlled breath in and as you exhale aim to reach for your toes. If you can't quite touch your toes, grab a towel and wrap the towel around your toes, ensuring you keep your back straight. 

Stretch benefits:

Lower back pain can come from tight hamstrings as everything is connected so keep on top of this one. Persevere with this and you will be surprised how quickly your flexibility improves.

Lying glute stretch

Where does this stretch?

Glutes (backside).

Instructions:

Resting on your back, take your left foot over your right knee, hands wrapped around the back of your right leg. Take a breath in and, as you exhale, gently pull to encourage a deeper stretch - make sure you go easy with this one if you haven't used it before. Hold for 30 seconds and keep breathing into the stretch. Repeat on opposite leg.

Stretch benefits:

Your glutes are some of the biggest muscle groups in the body - tight glutes can pull on other areas like your lower back, just like the hamstrings. Keeping your glutes loose can release any potential tension in the knee.

Upper back stretch 

Where does this stretch?

Shoulders, upper back.

Instructions:

Resting on all fours, take your right arm and 'thread' through the space between the left arm and left leg with the back of your right hand resting on the floor. Keep your hips central and you will feel the stretch in the back of your right shoulder/upper back. Big deep breathes will increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds each side.

Stretch benefits:

This is an area where the body often holds lots of tension, use this stretch post-workout to help to release some of this tension and aid relaxation.

Lying abdominal stretch

Where does this stretch?

Abdominals, hip flexors.

Instructions:

From a lying position on your front, take your hands to the sides and press up, resting on the front of your legs on the floor. Gently look over your left/right shoulder to enhance the stretch into the side of your abs.

Stretch benefits:

As well as post-workout, this is a great stretch to use daily to improve posture, particularly if your day involves lots of sitting. The abdominal muscles are a key part of your core and can be neglected when it comes to stretching.

Front body opener

Where does this stretch?

Quads, hip flexors, chest and shoulders.

Instructions:

From a kneeling position, take your hands behind you with your knees hip width apart. Driving your hips up strong, squeeze your glutes tight to support your lower back in this position. If taking your hands behind is too much, grab a pillow/cushion and pop underneath your bum to take some of the pressure off your wrists. Make sure you breathe and move slowly into this position.

Stretch benefits:

This little back bend is a great way to improve flexibility and restore the natural alignment of the body, as well as stretching key major muscle groups in the front of the body.

Sumo hold

Where does this stretch?

Adductors (groin area).

Instructions:

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your toes pointing outwards. Come down into a squat position and with your hands together use your elbows to push your knees out. Hold for 30 seconds.

Stretch benefits:

Practicing this hip opener regularly will not only give you a great stretch but also help to increase your mobility. You may find this a little uncomfortable to start with but work with it and notice how your squatting range of motion improves with time.

 

For more warm-down exercises try some of these dynamic and static stretches:

 

 

Tags:

stretch workout the body coach fitness

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About Joe Wicks

Joe Wicks is the online nutrition coach inspiring people all over the world to cook with his #Leanin15 video meals on Instagram. He is also transforming the lives of thousands of people with his tailored online nutrition plan, The 90 Day Shift, Shape & Sustain plan.



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