It is true that stretching is not the most fun part of working out, but doing stretches is as important as strength training or cardio. You do stretches to improve flexibility and for a well-rounded fitness routine. Having some stretching exercises into your workout will help you become more flexible, reduce tightness, and make your workouts more efficient in the long run.
Tight muscles can put a strain on your joints or can become injured. Stretching is a very important for an athlete’s fitness routine. Stretching is an effective way to combat injury risk in the future, as it will increase the mobility of your muscles and joints. There are many benefits to stretching like better balance, more flexibility, greater strength, and better athletic performance.
Here are 5 flexibility exercises for athletes:
- Lunges: Lunges are very popular and also the most beneficial stretch especially for runners. It has an effect on many muscles in the legs, including your hamstrings and glutes, among many others. These muscles can get tightened due to sitting for long periods of time, such as in an office environment. It’s necessary to stretch after being still for a long period of time to maintain flexibility.
- Sitting hamstring stretch: Standing hamstring stretches are very popular, but the seated hamstring is also one to look out for. It is great not only for hamstrings, it is also great for alleviating pressure from the lower back. Start by sitting down and lay your legs straight, touch your calves and move towards touching your toes and hold that position for 30-60 seconds.
- Downward Dog: It is a yoga pose which also makes for a great stretching exercise. It is very useful for relieving stress while stretching many muscles at the same time. It stretches the back side of the legs and also takes tension out from the lower back and shoulders.
- Cobra stretch: This is one more yoga pose that is a great stretching exercise as well. A cobra stretch is known to help in getting better flexibility in your spine. These stretches are good for the spine health. It relaxes the spine, thereby relieving back pain.
- Chest opening stretch: In case of hand exercises, you should have flexible arms, and open chest, and limb shoulders. The stretch is perfect for weight lifters or anyone doing activities that puts stress on their shoulders, arms and chest. It’s also good for the ones who have to sit at a desk for long periods because working on a desktop can make your arms and chest stiff.