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The best way to stretch out your body - principles of good stretching exercises
Stretching is done to increase mobility and to avoid muscle stiffness and muscle aching after training. It is however doutful whether stretching after training really prevents aching and stiffness caused by training. Nevertheless, regular streching to keep and increase mobility is necessary.
General advices about stretching
Here are some general advices about stretching:
-Stretch out regularly, at least every second day.
-If you find stretching after training prevents stiffness and aching, do so. If not, stretch at other times.
-Stretch out all the parts of your body. Do not forget any part.
-Ideally you should be warm in your muscles when stretching. If you are not, begin the stretching very carefully.
General remarks about stretching exercises and stretching methods
Stretching exercises keep you flexible, support the flow of blod an lymph in your tissues, help your tissues to get enough oxygen and nourishment, help the tissues to ger rid of vastes and thereby help you to keep yourself generally young. There are two general methods you can use when stretching.
Swift stretching: I the first method, you flex your body or a body part many times after another, using some power so that the body part is trown against the resistance, and you feel a short stretch. Do it very carefully in the beginning of the series, but increase the power gradually during each repetition.
Slow stretching: By the other method you flex a body part until you feel the stretch. Then hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. You will then feel that the muscles relax, and you can stretch some further during these 10-15 seconds. Then relax.
The swift stretching exercises are fine to do in the morning and as a preliminary step before training, since these exercises also help to warm up your muscles. The slow variants are good to stretch out with after training. You can of cource also belnd them together.
It is not necessary to learn specific stretching execises as long as the listed principles are followed. You can construct your own stretching exercises fitted spesific for you. However below there are some ideas for stretches you can do.
Swift stretching exercises
Here are some ideas for swift stretching exercises.
Stretching exercises for your arms
Stand uppright and hold your arms stretched out in fromt of you. Then swing your armes backwards and forward 10 times so you feel a gentle pull in your breast muscles and around your shuolders.
Stand uppright and hold your arms stretched out to both sides. Twist your armes one way and then the other way 10 times so you feel a gentle stretch in your arms. You can also do the twisting with your arms stretched straight out.
Stretching exercises for your torso
Stand upprignt and hold your arms along your sides. Then swing your upper body to right and left 10 times. Do this so rapidly and hard that you feel a gentle pull in the muscles of your torso each time. You can also do this exercise with your arms stretched out to each side.
Stand upright and lift your right arm and touch your head with your right hand. Then bend your upper body to left 10 times so that you feel a gentle pull in your left side. Then touch your head with your left hand and bend to right 10 times. When doing this execise you can also flex your neck to the same side so that you also get a stretch in your neck.
Stretching exercises for your legs
Stand uppright and lift your armes straight up over your head so you feel a stretch along your torso. Then bow forewards and swing your arms in a bow towards your toes 10 times so that you feel a gentle pull at the bak of your legs.
Lie on your right side on the floor at a carpet without flexing your hips or your knees, or just flexing them a little. Support your head with your right arm. Then Swing up your left leg 10 times so that you feel a gentle stretch between your legs and in the inner side of your left tigh. Then lay on your left side and swing up your right leg in the same way 10 times. You can also stand right up and sopport your stability by grasping around a furniture with one hand when doing when you swing your legs out.
Sit on the floor on a carpet or pad with right back and neck. Bend up your knees and let the underside of your feet toutch each other. Press your knees downwards at each side towards the floor 10 times so that the inner sides of your tighs and your groin area get gently stretched.
Stretching exercises for your back
Stand with your feet somewhat apart, flex your knees and hips, lean foreward and support with your hands gripping just above your knees. Then bend your torso foreward in a bow, so that your stomach protrudes foreward and bend back the opposite way so your back protudes backwords. Do it 10 times so that you feel a gentle stretch each time.
Stretching exercises for your neck
Stand right. Turn your head to right and left 10 times os that you each time feel a gentle stretch in your neck. Rest some seconds. Then nodd your head forewards and backwors 10 times so that you feel a gentle stretch. Then rest some seconds. Then bend your necl swinging your head 10 times to left and right so that you feel a gentle pull in your neck.
Stand right and support with your hands holding towards your stomack. Then swing your head and whole neck backwords without flexing your neck 1o times o that you feel a gentle stretch around the junction of your neck to your shoulders.
Slow stretching exercises
Here are some ideas for slow stretching exercises.
Stretching exercises for your arms
Lie down on the back wih the arms along your sides. Swing your arms up and down towords the floor past your head, so that your body stretches from top to toe. Hold the stretch in ca 10 sec Then bend your body up and stretch your hands foreward toward your toes. If you do not reach your toes, hold around your ancles. Hold in this position in ca 10 sec.
Stretching exercises for your legs
Stand uppright and lift your armes straight up over your head so you feel a stretch along your torso. Then bow forewards and swing your arms in a bow towards your toes. Hold the position in 10 seconds so that you feel a gentle pull at the back of your legs.
Sit on the floor on a carpet or pad with right back and neck. Bend up your knees and let the underside of your feet toutch each other. Press your knees downwards at each side towards the floor. Hold the stretch in ca 10-15 sec.
Stand upright against a wall, supporting yourself with your left hand against the wall. Bed your right knee back and grip your ancle with your right hand. Stretch your right tigh backwards with your arm. Hold the stretch in ca 10-15 sec. Then supporting yourself with your right hand against the wall. Bed your left knee back and grip your ancle with your left hand. Stretch your left tigh backwards with your arm. Hold the stretch in ca 10-15 sec.
Stretching exercises for your back
Stand upright. Bend your knees a little and hold your knees with your hands. Then bend your torso foreward in a bow, so that your stomach protrudes foreward. Also pull your neck backwards as long as you can. Hold the stretch in ca 10-15 sec. Then go back and relax.
Stretching exercises for your torso
Stand upright with the legs some apart. Swing your right arm sideways over your head and touch your head. Keep your elbow as far back as possible. Bend your body and your neck to left, and flex your knees a little to ease the movement. Hold the stretch in ca 10-15 sec. Go back again to the upright position.
Now Swing your left arm sideways over your head and toutch your head. Bend your body and neck to right, and flex your knees a little to ease the movement. Hold the stretch in ca 10-15 sec. Go back again to the upright position.
Stand upright. Twist your upper body and your neck to right. Hold the stretch in ca 10-15 sec.Then twist your upper body and your neck to left. Hold the stretch in ca 10-15 sec. Then go back
Stretching exercises for your neck
Stand upright with your arms along your sides and with your neck right. Flex you head downwards so you look at the floor, and so that you feel the stretch at the back of your neck. Then flex your head backwards, and open your nouch as much as possible to ease the movement backwards. Then bend your neck to right, and then to left. Hold each position in 10-15 sec. You can also help to stretch your neck with your hands to make the stretching effective.
Sit on a chair and take hold of both your knees with your hands. Shoot the upper part of your breast foreward, while pulling back with your arms against your knees that you hold around. Olso try to bend your back kackwards at the same time. Hold that position in 40-50 seconds. This will get the most difficult part of your neck to be stretched in a bow and correct a crooked neck which most people have to some extend.
Combining swift and slow stretching
You can combine swift and slow stretching in one and the same exercise. When doing so you stretch swiftlly as described 9 times. The last time you hold the stretch in 10 seconds so that you feel a gentle constant pull.
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