Are you in-season? Are your practices and training sessions getting your feeling body sore and run-down?
Or, are you a committed gym member consistently attending classes, working hard, all of that effort has you feeling a bit sore or tight?
Either or, I have a few great stretches for you to do after your activities to prevent and alleviate some of that soreness!
#1- Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch:
- Start with one knee down and one knee up, with your hands on your hips
- Take a deep breath in and exhale as you A) shift your hips forward and B) lean your chest and shoulders back.
- Return to the starting position and repeat 10-15 times per side.
You should feel the stretch in the front of the hip on the down-knee leg.
#2 Half-Kneeling Quad Stretch:
- Assume same starting position as stretch #1
- Grab the foot of the down knee leg with the same side hand and pull it towards your glutes.
- While holding onto something for balance, take a deep breath in and exhale as you shift your hips forward like done in stretch #1.
- Perform 10-15 reps per side
- You should feel the stretch on the front side of the down-knee leg.
#3 90/90 Hip Stretch:
- Sit on the ground with one leg in front of you at a 90 degree angle (outside of the leg on the ground & inside of the thigh facing up, like a butterfly stretch) and the other leg behind you at a 90 degree angle (inside of the thigh facing the ground & outside of the thigh facing up).
- Take a deep breath in and exhale as you extend your chest outward and down towards the front knee.
- Don’t leave the stretching position like the first two stretches, just re-inhale and try to get a bit further in the stretch with each exhale.
- Perform 8-10 breaths each side.
- You should feel the stretch in the hamstring/glute of the front leg.
#4 Quadruped Upper Back Stretch:
- Begin on the ground in an “all-fours” position, hands and knees on the ground.
- Take a deep breath in and exhale as you arch your upper back as far as you can towards the ceiling, thinking about separating your shoulder blades as much as you possibly can.
- Reset and repeat 10-15 times, 3 seconds per stretch.
- You should feel the stretch in your upper back.
#5 Door Jam Lat Stretch:
- Stand by a door frame with one shoulder next to it and the other further away from it.
- Reach over your head with your far arm and grab the door frame.
- Place your close hand low on the door frame and hold on.
- Use your close hand to press your body away from the door elongating your far arm as you stretch the far lat muscle.
- Spend 8 breaths on each side.
It is important to breathe through your stretches and never take any too far with too much intensity. If the stretch is too intense and you begin to hold your breath you’ll actually further tighten the muscle from all the tensity in your body, pretty counter productive if you ask me!
Perform this routine nightly or post-activity and save yourself from some soreness or body fatigue!