Stretching has a great number of benefits. It can improve your flexibility, lengthen your muscles, prevent pain after a workout, and can help to prevent injury to your muscles and ligaments. Stretching doesn't take a long time to do, and you can even do them while sitting in front of the television at night (or anywhere, including at work). See below for some simple stretches you can do to improve your flexibility and to reap the other benefits as well.
Sit with your legs spread out (hip width apart). Gently bend over towards one leg and attempt to touch your toes with your knees completely straight. Reach as far as possible, then repeat on the other side. Move both legs together and repeat the steps.
You can also do this same stretch while standing. Place one leg out front and bend over, trying to touch your toes. Repeat on the other leg and then stand with your legs together, then bend over to touch your toes.
Stretch your hips and quad muscles by doing a bridge stretch. Lay on your back, bending your legs and placing your feet as close to your bottom as possible. Lift your hips off of the ground and straighten your lower back (don't arch). You should feel the stretch in the front of your hips and in your quad muscles.
Stretch your quad muscles by standing on one leg, pulling the opposite foot up and behind your bottom. Stand up as straight as possible to get a good stretch in the front of your thigh. Repeat on the other side.
Stretch your shoulders by placing your arm behind your head and gently pulling on the elbow with the other hand. You will feel the stretch in your shoulders and in your triceps. Repeat on the other side.
Stretch your neck muscles by tilting your head from side to side, allowing time for your muscles to stretch. Roll your neck to the other side and repeat on the other side. Move your head to the front and to the back as well to work all muscles in your neck and upper shoulders.
Stretching improves flexibility, lengthens muscles, prevents injury and a number of other benefits. Stretch before your workout and after as well, and watch your body change and improve. Talk to your personal trainer about other stretches you can do to help improve flexibility. To learn more, contact a fitness club like Aspen Hill Club.