Hope you are all having a week of great workouts!
I thought I would take the chance to talk about stretching. There are so many people I see that do not stretch in the gym, I mean maybe they go home to stretch but it is important to do stretches as part of a cool down at the gym to prevent injury. For one, I definitely notice a difference in my mobility after stretching. It helps get rid of the muscle tightness caused by lifting weights and improve flexibility!
Everyone is different and it is a matter of personal preference if you prefer stretching out with a foam roller or just carry out your own movements. Personally I do not own a foam roller and have never tried to use one so I can’t say if they work for me or not. I find static stretches work for me though. I do these at the end of a workout and on most rest days now especially if I feel tightness (mostly in my legs and back).
I have pictured some of my regular stretches above. The furthest left picture stretches the inner upper leg muscles so the abductors mostly, but also the back when you lean forward. If you push down on your legs with your elbows a more dramatic stretch will be felt. Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet touching and bring them in to your groin as far as you can. Reach over your feet with your arms so your back is arched over your legs. Hold for around 15 seconds. This is my favourite stretch as my inner thighs get quite tight after training legs!
The middles is mostly a calf and quadricep stretch. Sit with legs open and straight, grab one foot or if you can’t get quite as far as the foot, as far as you can go, with both hands. Hold this for around 15 seconds before switching to the other leg. With time and doing this stretch regularly you’ll probably find you can reach further.
Third is a tricep stretch, the harder you push down on the elbow the more of a stretch you will feel. Place the palm of your hand on your back so your armpit is basically in your ear. With the other hand push down on the raised elbow. Again hold this for 15 seconds.
These are just three examples of stretches, there are millions of different stretches out there. But trust me you will notice a difference in your flexibility if you start stretching!