Each time you do this stretch, … Return to starting position. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. Continue with the same exercises as you usually do, but increase repetitions. Stretching is also classified as either acute or … The primary movers for all of these motions are these muscles: When we do a lot of cardio, even if we mix up the types of cardio we’re doing, we still tend to overwork the same muscle groups over and over. “A muscle can be perceived as tight if it’s overcompensating because it lacks the strength to do something,” Morgan says. Gently press your chest and shoulders toward the ground to deepen the stretch. Avoid static stretching … Sit on the ground and extend your right leg straight in front of you. Bend forward and hold your toes with your right hand to stretch your hamstring. Start standing with your feet together. Pump your feet up and down by pulling your feet up toward you, then pushing your feet down away from you. Post-workout stretching can be a pain. Find your balance and reach back to catch your right foot with your right hand. One important note, though: While focusing on areas that feel tight can be helpful in guiding your post-workout cool-down, tightness might not actually be the underlying problem. Place your right hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the left as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling. Post-exercise stretching has been a controversial topic amongst researchers, producing conflicting results regarding its benefits. Ideally, your post-workout stretching session should last roughly the same amount of time as your warm-up—5 to 10 minutes, says Morgan. That’s because almost every cardio workout uses the same muscles and tendons on repeat. (A simple trap stretch to include would be simply bringing your ear to your shoulder.). The guidelines suggest that you spread this exercise throughout the week. Press your right heel into the ground as you bend your left knee. Use your right hand to pull the right toes towards you to stretch your tibia (the muscle along the front of your shin). As for an upper-body lifting session, it’s important to stretch your wrists, pecs (your chest muscles), lats (back muscles), and traps (the muscles that extend from your upper back to your neck to your shoulders), says Darbouze. Strength training exercises … Examples include running, walking or swimming. For example, look at some of the most popular forms of cardio: jogging, running, cycling, elliptical training, and stair climbing. Walk your hands forward to come into a high-plank position with your hands flat on the floor, wrists stacked under your shoulders, and your core, quads, and butt engaged. Dynamic stretches are also helpful after your workout in your cool-down, says Morgan, since they give you more bang for your buck by working multiple joints and muscles at a time. Complete this exercise 10 to 30 times each hour to help prevent blood clots in the legs. Related: I'm a Yoga Instructor, and These Are 6 Must-Do Stretches For Tight Hamstrings Previous Next Start Slideshow . Stretch before exercising. And post-workout stretches are especially easy to bail on—you’ve already put in the time for your workout, so when that’s done, it’s extra tempting to call it a day. And yes, you definitely need post-workout stretching when weight training, says Darbouze: “Strength athletes tend to be super stiff.”. Kneel on the floor and rest your fingertips down in front of you. If you jump straight to bench pressing 250 pounds after sitting in front of a screen for the entire day, you’re asking for trouble. © 2021 Condé Nast. They need to be warmed up gradually before they can perform at their full potential. Get The FREE Mobility Guide To Fix Your Pain Today! Stretching is the flossing of the exercise world: You know you should do it, but how easy is it to skip? Stretches that hit your hamstrings (like the inchworm), quads, and hip flexors (the lunge with rotation hits those last two) are important to include, says Morgan. 2808 Old Post Road Harrisburg, PA 17110 Adult Cardiology: 717-920-4400 Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200 Fax: 717-920-4401. Post-workout stretches are important regardless of your workout choice: You want to bring more blood flow to those muscles that you just worked in order to aid recovery and ward off stiffness, says Morgan. “I use the green light–yellow light–red light system with stretching,” says Morgan. 9 Strength Training Tips All Beginners Should Know, 6 Butt Stretches That Will Seriously Loosen Up Your Tight, Sore Tush, 22 Super-Soothing Stretching Workouts on YouTube. After a lower-body lifting session, you’d want to hit those same lower-body muscles: hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and calves. Though there are many forms of stretching (Figure 1), static stretching appears to be the most common type prescribed in post-exercise cool-down routines. Jessica is a NASM Certified and Prenatal Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and co-host of the popular YouTube show Live Lean TV. Pause for a second. Bend your left knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your right leg straight behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your right thigh. Discover new workout ideas, healthy-eating recipes, makeup looks, skin-care advice, the best beauty products and tips, trends, and more from SELF. Try to stretch at least once a day to get your body ready for exercise. Start in a down dog position, with hands and feet on the ground and hips in the air. Pull your right foot in towards your hips, stretching the front of your foot, your tibia, your quad, and your hip flexor all at the same time. But there are some solid benefits to fitting in some post-workout stretches after your routine, whether you’ve been running, strength-training, or doing HIIT. Static stretches, where you hold a single position to activate a muscle stretch, are better done post-workout after … Oh yeah, and when you sign up, we'll also give you some neat free bonuses like our Paleo for Beginners guide, with 15 extra delicious recipes! Hold for a few seconds. Paleo Diet Recipes, Information, and Tips. One-Pan Steak and Toasted Broccoli Recipe. “And when you stop stretching, you should stop feeling anything,” Darbouze says. padding: 5px; Ideally, your post-workout stretching session should last roughly the same amount of time as your warm-up—5 to 10 minutes, says Morgan. Full Leg Stretch I personally love this stretch after any cardio workout, or really, any exercise where you’ve really worked your legs. That’s 1 rep. Continue for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This routine should take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete and requires no equipment, so it can be done anywhere you are! Hold for three breaths. Buttock stretch – hold for 10 to 15 seconds. 2. Cooldowns are more important than you think and are especially crucial after a cardio workout. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Anything 5 or above is your red light to stop and back off.”. border: 1px solid #e5e597; The front of your shins can be a tricky area to stretch, but it’s important, especially after cardio workouts that have you repeatedly flexing your ankles. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides. Recommended props: 2 blocks, 1 blanket. This stretch requires good balance and flexibility. Come down to your knees and pause a moment before standing back up. Demoing the moves are Caitlyn Seitz (GIFs 1 and 5), a New York–based group fitness instructor and singer-songwriter; Charlee Atkins (GIFs 2 and 3), C.S.C.S., creator of Le Sweat TV; and Teresa Hui (GIF 4), a native New Yorker who has run more than 150 road races. Finish each and every cardio workout with these essential stretches to rebalance your body. Walk your hands back to your feet and stand to return to starting position. Lift your right foot up and place it to the right side of your hands. Kneel on … The moment you finish your workout, you breathe a sigh of relief and head for the door. Place your fingertips gently behind your head and engage your glutes and core. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. As you become more advanced, you may be able to lower your elbows to the ground. Sit on the ground with your legs extended out in front of you. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh. “You don’t have to roll around on the ground for 20 minutes,” she says. Post workout stretches can be SO beneficial to prevent and ease muscle soreness after working out. If you need extra support, hold onto a wall or chair for support. It may cause damage to the body. Let’s say you just ran. Extend your arms out in front of you and rest your forehead on the floor. Touch your left foot to your right knee. This is starting position. Make sure to keep breathing during this stretch and come down to your knees and pause a moment before standing up to avoid any dizziness. Here are some essential stretches for your post-cardio cooldown. This inverted stretch helps redistribute the blood back into your upper body after cardio workouts. (Your Next Workout: 3 Biggest Cardio Mistakes. If you can't touch your toes, then hold your shin. Repeat on the other side. Dynamic stretches, which are best for pre-workout, activate muscles by using them instead of holding a single pose. Lower your hips to reset, then repeat on the other side. Rest the hand lightly—don’t put pressure on your head or neck. Slowly rotate your head and shoulder toward your right hand on the floor. You’ll feel this stretch in your shoulders and back, in addition to your hips and glutes. 1) Shoulder Shrugs- Bring your shoulders up to your ears, then relax your shoulders down. Static stretching can increase your range of motion, according to a review of stretching types published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, and because your muscles are already warm from your workout, it’ll feel easier to get that good stretch, says Darbouze. “Stretching can increase blood flow, boost oxygen levels, and help deliver nutrients to your body and your muscles, and as well as help remove metabolic waste to help with the recovery process.”. What you need: Just your body weight, and an exercise mat to make the moves a little more comfortable. Repeat. Repeat for a total of three stretches on each side. When she’s not shooting fitness and nutrition videos, writing workouts, creating recipes, or working with clients, she enjoys long walks on the beach, fun workouts, and spending time with her husband, dog, and baby on-the-way! Push with your arms to get a greater stretch in your calf. Then, reverse the motion and rotate to the left and up so your elbow points toward the ceiling. 2) Shoulder Circles - Sitting upright, … Plus HIIT Metabolism-Boosting Workout, 17 Easy Doorway Stretches To Fix Sore, Tight Muscles, 7 Gentle Backbends to Release Tight Muscles, 7 Easy Wall Stretches for Tight Hamstrings, 7 Post-Dinner Thanksgiving Stretches to Reduce Belly Bloat, 9 Easy Wall Stretches to Fix Tight Shoulders, If You Have Tight Hips, These 9 Easy Glute Stretches Will Feel Amazing, 10 Ways to Use Yoga Blocks to Release Tight Muscles, Instant Pot vs. You're tired, dripping sweat, and hankering for your post-workout meal. Start on all fours, with your hands stacked under your shoulders and your knees stacked under your hips. Thinking about which muscles you used in your workout can help guide your post-workout stretching process. This is an ideal yoga sequence to stretch out after a cardio workout. This stretching routine is exactly what you need after a run, intense workout or a long day of just sitting at your desk. Keep your joints slightly bent and never locked during stretching … Focus your attention on lengthening your hip flexors rather than lowering your upper body as much as possible. Kneel down on one knee, keeping the opposite foot pressed into the ground. Use a chair to hold onto if you’re struggling to reach the floor in this stretch. 3 of the Best Unique Post-Cardio Stretches Posted On Jul 7, 2015 By Joel Harper Stretching after, and sometimes during, a cardio workout helps to increase your muscles range of … To get the most out of a stretching exercise, use slow, gentle movements, and hold the stretch … Ad Choices, 5 Post-Workout Stretches That Will Loosen Up Your Tight Muscles. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Slow Cooker – the Difference and Which is Better, The 12 Best Low Carb Vegetables and Their Benefits, The 7 Best Natural Substitutes for White Sugar. Remember to stretch after each workout! Suffering from a sore neck, back and shoulders? Hip flexors that feel “tight” no matter how much you stretch them might actually be signaling a lack of core strength, for example, she says. Stay here for five breaths. Who wants to linger around the gym an extra 15-20 minutes after crushing a workout? But one important thing to remember, says … clear: both;} The main risks of muscle overuse include: Cooling down with these essential stretches immediately after each cardio workout is the easiest way to increase flexibility, relieve tightness, and prevent injury from overworked muscles. Kneel on the ground with your knees about hip-width apart. Place your hands on the floor, hold opposite elbows in front of or behind your … Love, Kayla xx * Results may vary. Cross your right leg over your left thigh. SELF may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. In winter, your muscles are stiffer and colder, so it’ll take more time to warm up. All rights reserved. You’ll likely feel some discomfort when you stretch, but you should never feel a pinching or sharp pain. Stretching as a warm-up should focus on dynamic moves, or those that include movement—say, like an inchworm rather than simply touching your toes. Not stretching after your workout may not be the wisest choice. Adding stretching into your weekly workout schedule is a must and key to keeping your muscles and joints healthy. Jumping jacks really get your heart pumping, so they are more of a cross over from warm up to cardio. You’d also want to make sure to stretch your big toe and your calves, says Darbouze. Continue this movement for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then repeat on the other side. Muscles in your legs have a tendency to get sore pretty easily, so this stretch … Walk … SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Just step out your feet instead of jumping for a little less impact. If you’re skipping your cooldown, you’re missing out on a world of benefits – and quite honestly, the best part of working out. If you’re just starting out, 30 seconds should be fine, working your way up to a minute or so the more you get used to it, says Darbouze. Check out the Runners Journey for more. Engage your core and maintain a flat back. 2 of 17. Start in a low lunge position, with your front leg at a 90° angle and your back knee on the ground. Like us on Facebook for delicious recipes and a lot more! But static stretching plays a role in your cool-down too, since it can bring mobility benefits, says Marcia Darbouze, P.T., D.P.T., owner of Just Move Therapy in Florida and cohost of the Disabled Girls Who Lift podcast. Take a big step forward with your left foot, so that you are in a staggered stance. Most practitioners however agree that it delivers an increased range of motion at the joints and improves circulation (preventing pooling of blood at the extremities). Get our mobility guide to ease pain and soreness.Get The FREE Mobility Guide To Fix Your Pain Today!.postLeadbox{background: #ffffa0; Hold for 30 seconds, then switch to do the same on the left side. Dr. Keith Rice, Cardiovascular Disease in Carlisle, PA. See Reviews & Make an Appointment! }. Even small amounts of physical activity are helpful, and accumulated activity throughout the day adds up to provide health benefits. You should feel this in your right-side pectoral muscles. If the pressure of your knee on the floor is uncomfortable, try padding it with a towel or a pillow. Rest your left hand on your left knee, and if you wish, press down just slightly to increase the stretch in your hip. 6 Post-Cardio Stretches for Tight Muscles Kneeling Butterfly Back Arch | 3 reps This stretch is a great way to open up tight hip flexors, and you’ll also feel a tremendous stretch across your chest. Like a butterfly spreading its wings, open your elbows back and arch your chest forward. Hold the stretch for three breaths, then switch and do the same on the other side. If you noticed any imbalances during your workout—say you’re having difficulty getting down low enough into a squat on your right side—you’d want to pay extra attention to the area that’s giving you problems, says Darbouze. The Difference Between Pre and Post Workout Stretches Our bodies are less like switches and more like volume knobs. Lean back to place your hands on the floor behind you. Press your hips forward to stretch your hip flexor. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/stretching-after-workout Lift your chest and look up towards the ceiling. To do a buttock stretch: Lie on your back and bring your knees up to your chest. If you liked that article, you'll absolutely LOVE our daily newsletter -- with more recipes, workouts, and tips and tricks to be the healthiest version of yourself. But one important thing to remember, says Darbouze, is that any kind of post-workout stretching is better than nothing. Hips ( Hold … Hold for three breaths. Sit back on your heels (as best you can) and fold forward, resting your belly on your thighs. if(typeof(dataLayer) === 'object'){ “That can lead to tight, overbearing upper traps just pulling our body out of whack,” she says. But hold up a minute! Keep your neck neutral and shoulders rolled back and down. dataLayer.push({'eventCategory': 'leadbox', 'eventAction':'show', 'eventLabel':'Mobility & Stretching Lead Magnet', 'nonInteraction':'Yes'}); Seriously, you're the best. Keeping one foot on the ground helps you ease into this hip and quad stretch, which can feel intense. “One of the big things about stretching after a workout is the idea that you are improving mobility after you’ve already worked the muscle,” Jennifer Morgan, P.T., D.P.T., C.S.C.S., a sports physical therapist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. “Even if you do just one thing or spend 2 minutes on it, it’s something.”. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Lengthen your spine, and allow your head to fall heavy toward the floor, keeping a slight bend in your knees. “With the green light, you just feel the stretch and there is no pain with it, so you are good to go and keep stretching. While the best post-workout stretches you choose depend on the kind of workout you completed, the following stretching routine from Morgan is a solid option to try after a full-body strength-training routine. With a yellow light, you feel some sort of discomfort in the 1-to-4 range [on the discomfort scale], and should proceed with caution—you can keep going, but you don’t want it to get any worse. Without stretching… Don’t skip the cooldown! Here's a full-body stretching routine to try after a workout or on your rest day. Lie on your stomach with both arms extended to the sides so your body is in a T shape. Stretching out your traps is super important for people who strength-train, since they often skip training the lower or middle parts of the traps. UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute Part of UPMC Heart and Vascular … Post Exercise Stretch Routine 1. Lean very slightly backward to feel the stretch down the entire front side of your body and lift your chin. A stretching session doesn’t have to take forever. This better prepares the muscles for a workout. Perform the exercises twice a day. As you become more advanced, you can try straightening your front leg and perhaps even lowering down onto your elbows. Press your hips upward and tighten your core to feel a stretch across the front of your thigh and hip flexor. As a bonus, you’ll feel a good stretch in your outer hip, especially if you lean forward. Even shoes are optional. Tip: Beginners may modify by completing each stretch only once, or holding the stretches for only 1 to 2 breaths each. For the moves that are unilateral (on one side), do them for that amount of time on each side. So you’d want to make sure you’re including enough strengthening exercises into your actual workout rather than only trying to stretch out your muscles afterward. This stretch is a great way to open up tight hip flexors, and you’ll also feel a tremendous stretch across your chest. text-align: center; Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise … Come back to the center to relax a moment, then repeat two more times. Repeat each exercise 10 times. Plus HIIT Metabolism-Boosting Workout), Category: FitnessTag: cardio workouts stretching exercises. Kneel on your mat with your knees wider than hip-width apart and your feet together behind you. Place your left hand on the back of your head, so that your elbow points out to the left side. Directions: Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Doing a few specific stretches after cardio workouts will increase your range of motion and improve muscle recovery. You’ll need to read this article and watch the video for short, and simple Post-Cardio Stretches. Bend at your waist and place your hands on the floor, bending your knees. Breathe deeply for three full breaths, then switch to do the same on the other side. Grasp the back of your left thigh with … Follow these six essential post-cardio stretches after your cardio workouts for immediate and lasting relief. Here’s everything you need to know about why you should stretch after your workout, which stretches to choose, and how you should do it most effectively. Remember to relax and breathe through the stretches. You can also follow these stretches after weight training or any other form of exercise. Many experts agree that stretching … 3 Biggest Cardio Mistakes. It's not exactly the time to stick around and do some silly stretches… As for how long to hold each stretch? Repeat for a total of three times on each side. Butterfly (Hold stretch for 30-45 seconds, 1-2 sets) Sit tall, keeping back flat Press outer thighs toward the ground and hold Focus on slow, deep breathing 2. She has over 12 years of experience in fitness and nutrition coaching, and she has clients all over the world. As your mobility increases, you’ll be able to stretch farther and roll your body farther. Push off the ground with your left hand and bend your left knee for balance as you start to roll to your right side. Place your left hand on your left knee for balance and support. Post-Cardio Stretch. With your doctor's permission, you can often start stretching in the hospital. 2. Points to Consider: 1.