I cannot emphasize enough the importance of stretching to my clients. The majority of society has a job where they are at a computer for 8 hours a day. This means a LOT of sitting and very little standing and movement.
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Benefits of stretching
- Better Posture- stretching the lower back, chest, and shoulders can help keep the spine in better alignment and improve overall posture.
- Decrease risk of injury- stretching after a hard workout decrease muscle soreness and helps speed the recovery time of the muscle and joints allowing you to perform at you optimal performance.
- Promotes blood circulation- better blood circulation will aid in organ function and cell growth.
Try these four lower body stretches to help open your hips, stretch your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. If you cannot do these simple stretches with ease, then it is a sign that you are very tight. Practice these movements at least 3 times a week for increased flexibility. And remember - start out easy and never force any stretch. These stretches should always be passive (no bouncing), held for 1-4 minutes, and always done after a workout, never before.
Saddle pose stretches the hip flexors and quadriceps. I do not care who you are - everyone will be tight in their hip flexors. Everyone needs to do this stretch.
Opens the hips, hamstring, groin, and hip flexor. This one does it all strengthens the inner thigh muscles all while getting one awesome stretch. Remember to breath deep the entire time you're holding a stretch.
This one is my ultimate favorite. It took me a very long time to get comfortable in this stretch but after years of practice, I can now fall asleep in this pose. Pigeon is a deep glute stretch and needed for all of those sitting in a chair all day. If you ever have sciatic pain or an impinged piriformis add this into your daily routine. Start out easy and if you feel pain in your knee adjust your position. You should never feel pain in your knee in any stretch.
This stretch is very similar to the lizard pose but adds a little more of the lower back stretch to it and balance. Again take it easy and breathe deep.