5 Must-do Stretches: whether You Walk, Run, Workout at Home, or Go to the Gym
Throughout the day, your body works more than you may realize. A healthy diet and exercise go hand-in-hand to keep your body thriving. Often overlooked, flexibility training a.k.a. stretching is an essential component of fitness. Contrary to popular belief, the necessity of stretching isn't just restricted to runners, gymnasts, or dancers.
According to multiple studies, there are short as well as long term benefits of several types of stretching, namely static, dynamic, ballistic, and PNF(proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation). Most research focuses on static and dynamic stretching. Static stretches are great after workouts when your body is most flexible. Following are the 5 Stretching exercises and must have active wear for flexibility.
5 Stretching Exercises Everyone Should Do
1. Hip flexor
Benefits - Decreases back pain as well as pain in the hips and thighs; enhanced hip extension; prevention of injury.
How - Adopt a lunge stance with one leg, say left, and drive your right hip and leg across your body. Place your left hand on the floor for support, raise your right hand fully. Ensure your back is straight.
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Benefits - Increases performance; decreases the risk of injury; helps prevent stress on your quads and pelvis.
How - Lie on your back and pull one leg straight up. The leg on the ground must remain straight. Grab your calf or ankle with your hands while the upward leg remains straight. If you have issues with flexibility, use a rubber band to pull the upward leg towards you.
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3. Spine (Lying Spinal Twist)
Benefits - Improves hip and lower back flexibility; helps to maintain correct posture, increases the efficiency of rotational movements.
How - Lie on your back with your hands stretched to your sides. Bring your knees toward your chest; keep them close together. Twist your hip and rest your knees on top of each other. Make sure your shoulders blades stay on the ground. When you change sides, use your core muscles to bring your legs to the centre.
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4. Butterfly Pose
Benefits - Increases flexibility around inner thighs; improves blood circulation in the lower body; stimulates abdominal organs.
How - Sit on the floor. Put your feet together with your knees apart. Gradually bring your feet closer to your body then bend forward and try to make your forehead touch your feet. Make sure you keep taking deep, long breaths.
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Benefits - Decrease’s the risk of headaches and back pain; relaxes muscles; instantly relieves stress.
How - Roll your neck in a clockwise direction slowly, then repeat in the anti-clockwise direction. For better results, roll your shoulders forward and backward after neck rolls.
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A regular stretching routine benefits beginner as well as athletes regardless of your choice of physical activities. Maintain a regular routine for stretching even on the days you don't exercise for relieving stress, calming your mind, improving your range of motion, etc. With Pokaba Active's functional and comfortable clothing, you can properly stretch without worrying about the fabric ripping or breathability.
Benefits of Stretching
1. It decreases stress
Stress is always unwanted. Furthermore, chronic stress can lead to increased anxiety, fatigue, and tension. Regular stretching has been known to decrease tension. Combined with certain breathing techniques, it may reduce anxiety as well as depression.
2. It reduces pain and stiffnessExcess muscular tension reduces your range of motion which increases the likelihood of straining your back muscles. Regular stretching decreases stiffness, pain levels (especially back pain), and the frequency as well as the severity of muscle cramps.
3. It improves health
Stretching exercises, like PNF and static stretching, as well as mind-body disciplines such as yoga, can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate. It essentially thwarts the body's physiological response to stress.
4. It increases your range of motion
Stretching on a regular basis enhances your freedom of movement i.e. the major joints can move in its full range of motion. PNF(stretching muscles to its limit) is effective for immediate gains while dynamic and static stretches are effective for enhancing range of motion.
5. It improves performance in physical activities
Studies show that stretching (mainly dynamic stretching) prior to physical activities improve your performance by preparing your muscles.
6. It increases blood flow to your muscles
Regular stretching improves circulation which in turn enhances blood flow. This can reduce recovery time as well as muscle soreness.
7. It improves your posture
Muscle imbalances leading to poor posture are fairly common problems. A study shows that a mix of strengthening and stretching certain muscles can decrease musculoskeletal pain and incite better alignment.