Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's getting nice out, let's workout! and stretch??

So the main buzz of this past week has been warmer weather and that we’re all ready for more of it! One of the beauties of nice weather is everyone’s attitude toward outdoor exercise. It’s so refreshing to see the loads of people running, biking, and walking outside.
Since most of us are increasing our activity, it's safe to ask are we also increasing our stretching?
Stretching (especially to the infamous weekend warrior) is crucial for injury prevention and post-workout muscle soreness. It’s the key to longevity in our lives of activity. It reduces muscle tension, increases joint mobility, and improves circulation. Neglecting a good stretch routine can lead to injury and can also compromise your tendons and ligaments. Lack of flexibility can also hinder your performance while working out.
Here is a list of some stretches geared toward the mid/lower body. Make sure to stretch your muscles when they are warm. Try a 5-10 min warm-up first. After you exercise, take your time and perform each stretch for 20-30 seconds at least two times.

Quad & Hip Flexor

Stand on one foot, and hold the other foot with the opposite hand. Raise the heel of the lifted foot to the buttocks (or as close as you can without pain), stretching your quadriceps and hip flexor. Keep your body upright throughout. Switch legs and repeat.


Lie down with one leg straight up in the air, the other bent on the ground. Loop a towel over the arch of the lifted foot, and gently pull on the towel toward you. Direct your knee toward your shoulder and try to keep the leg straight without locking it out. Switch legs and repeat.


Seated, put the soles of your feet together. With your elbows on the inside of your knees, gradually lean forward (try to keep your back straight) and press your knees toward the ground.


Lie flat on your back and, with your feet on the ground, lift your hips up until your body forms a flat plane. Repeat this to stretch your quads and lower back.

Hamstring and Lower Back

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Bring your shins to your chest to stretch your hamstrings and lower back.

Hip & Lower Back

Sit on the ground and cross your legs. Lift your right leg and cross it over the left (keep the right leg bent). Hug your right leg to the chest and twist the trunk of your body. Try to look over your right shoulder (if you can, cross your left arm over your right leg). Switch legs and arms and repeat.

Ok, so everybody should be good to go! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let us know. Stay tuned for more tips!

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