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Many spend a lot of time on cardio workout and building muscle mass, but often skip the flexibility training. And that's where you go wrong. Stretching is one of the most important part of any fitness routine. Skipping your stretches can lead to tight muscles and limit your range of motion as well as increase your risk of injury. On the other hand, benefits of daily stretching are too numerous to count. Stretching can help combat tight muscles, improve posture and reduce risk of injury.
Even if you're short on time, don't skip the stretching part of your workout routine. Instead, try these full-body stretches that can work all your major muscle groups and are less time-consuming. Do these stretches daily to get the best results.
You can do each of the following stretches either one at a time throughout the day or as a sequence holding for 15 to 45 seconds.
Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your right knee backward and grab your right ankle with your right hand. Then gently pull your heel in toward your butt while simultaneously pressing your foot into your hand to stretch your shoulder. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each leg.
This will stretch your hip and knee muscles as well as muscles in the front of your arm and chest.
Stand behind a bench keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. Now, step your right leg back about two feet and bend your left knee slightly while keeping your right knee straight. Then hinge forward at your hips until your upper arms are resting on the bench. Make sure your back is straight. Shift your weight back onto your right leg. You should feel a pull along the back of your thigh. Bend your elbows and bring your hands to the back of your neck. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat the stretch three times.
This will combat tight calves and stretch for your triceps too.
Start by lying on your back with your legs straight out and arms extended overhead. Move your arms and legs to the right keeping your hips still so that your body is in the shape of a banana. Then clasp your hands overhead and cross your left ankle over your right ankle. Hold this position for 10 breaths, focusing your breath toward the left side of your rib cage. Then do the same on the opposite side.
From the standing position, step your left foot forward slightly out to the side. Then press your right knee down in a lunge position and place both hands on the ground toward the right of your front foot. Now, rotate your torso to the right and raise your right arm up toward the ceiling, keeping your left hand on the ground and head in line with your body. Return to the ground and keep your hands on the ground. Next straighten both knees and shift your weight to your back leg to stretch your left hamstrings. Come to the standing position and do the same on the right side. Repeat 5 times on each side.
This will stretch several parts of the body at the same time. Particularly it can improve mobility for strength training exercises like squats.
Come to your hands and knees. Spread your knees hip-width apart and keep your feet together. Now, sit back so that your butt is resting on your heels. Keeping your hands on the ground, bring your belly and chest down between your knees and rest your forehead on the ground. Stretch out your arms forward and your palms up to intensify the stretch. Hold this position for as much as you can taking deep breaths.
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