So after every 1-on-1 session I stretch with my clients for about 15min, full body, head-to-toe. This isn’t always possible to do with group classes, but ideally, our members will stay to stretch out after. I know there is usually a rush to get home to make dinner, see our families, etc, but even 5 or 10 minutes after each workout can really make a difference in your recovery and injury prevention.
Lots of sleep, water, quality food, and fish oil will also help you get ready for the next training session, but I digress… A recent client of mine asked if I could send her a list of the ones we did together for her reference. So, this is for you Mary, thanks for the inspiration 🙂
*Note: This is just a quick list of what I do for general stretching at the end of every 1-on-1 session, and for my own training. If I have time I will do more stretches, and I also try to go to a yoga class geared more towards flexibility at least once a week. But I’m not an expert or doctor, this is just what works for me, so please don’t take this advice over that of your health care professional!
1) Seated Hamstring Stretch: see video. Remember to do each leg separately, and then legs together out in front. It’s really important to not round the back here, keep your back straight, and think of your upper body as a hinge. So if you only grab your thigh, not your toe, that’s fine, as long as you feel that stretch in your hamstring. You can flex your toes back towards you to feel a stretch in your calf as well.
2) Seated Spinal Twist: see video.
3) Butterfly Stretch: see video, and picture below.
4) Cross-over Hip Stretch: see video. Remember it’s more important to keep both shoulders down on the ground than to touch the knee to the ground.
5) Glute Stretch: see video. For a deeper stretch you can use your hand like she does in the video, or your elbow to open up that knee. To protect the knee of the leg that is crossed over, flex the foot towards it.
6) Couch Stretch: see video. My apologies for a bit longer of a video, but Kelly Starrett/MWOD is a great resource for mobility and flexibility as he has a doctorate in physical therapy, and is an ex-national level athlete.
7) Pigeon Stretch: see video.
8) Quad Stretch: see video. If you’re standing up, use a wall or rack for balance. Avoid wrenching on your foot, try to grab around the ankle if possible. If you want a deeper stretch, you can squeeze your butt, and push your hip forward a little bit, that way you can feel in more in your hip flexor (a deep muscle on the front of your pelvis- it gets really tight with sitting a lot!)
9) Calf Stretch: as shown in this video, it will only stretch the top of your calves, so after you have done both sides, don’t forget to do the stretch with a bent knee. You should feel it in the bottom of your calf and/or achilles tendon.
10) Chest Stretch: see video. I usually do this with my arms extended behind me, clasped together, but these are good variations as well.
11) Cross Body Shoulder Stretch: a bit lengthy of a video, sorry, but good information nonetheless!
12) Forearm Stretch: see video.
13) Triceps Stretch: see video, and picture below.
14) Lat Stretch: see video. You can do this stretch as shown in the video, against a wall, or using a door handle, and you should feel it down your side.
*Take the time to foam roll and stretch consistently, and your body will thank you for it… not to mention, you’ll recover faster and improve your positioning (ie: in the bottom position of the squat, front rack position, etc).