Stretching is the most neglected part of a workout routine. It is important to stretch before and after a workout session. Before working out, one should always stretch as it helps prevent cramps during the workout and prevents muscle tears too. Stretching after a workout helps loosen the muscles and helps get rid of stiffness later.
If you feel you don’t have time for multiple stretches, before and after exercising, then opt for this. It stretches all the muscles, from your fingers, to the tip of your toes. It gets your body warmed up and ready to go. It also activates the muscles that you will need to use during your work out, reported Bustle.
First, grab a mat and start on all fours. Take care to ensure that your knees are directly below the hips and the hands below the shoulders. Keep the back in a neutral position. This position can be slightly modified depending on if the body is comfortable or not.
After you get into the right position, ensure that the core is braced as if someone is about to punch the lower stomach. The body will brace itself just like it does while lifting weights. Ground yourself and then raise your left leg up behind you, stretching it back and up toward the ceiling. After holding that position for a few seconds, lower your body. Remember that this is a dynamic, active stretch, so feel free to move into poses rather than holding them for long periods of time.
Next, bring your left leg near your left hand, as if you are about to sprint. Rock your hips back and forth which activate hip flexors and the groin. When the body feels ready, lift the right knee of the ground and lean back. This stretches the right hamstring.
Finally, integrate the upper body. Drop your right knee back on the ground and keep your right hand planted (so your right hand and left leg are supporting your upper body under your shoulders). Elevate your left hand and, keeping your balance as best as you can, extend your left arm up to the ceiling, really letting yourself get a good stretch through your chest.
Repeat this set five to eight times. Keep switching sides alternatively and repeat all the movements with the right leg and right arm. This stretch can be customised depending upon how much your body can take. There is no hard and fast rule to stick to a certain limit of stretching.