02-08-2017

My Favorite Stretching Exercises

Hi all – long time no see (chat?)!

If you follow me on Instagram (@pattyrivas13), you’ve seen I’ve been sharing some of my favorite stretches. Well, I wanted to share them here as well and talk a bit about the benefits of stretching.

Try these stretching exercises!

Re-Energize

Even if you don’t have time for a full yoga class, doing a few stretches at your desk can help increase circulation, and give you an all-natural boost of energy. (Here’s an article I found: The 5 Best Stretches For Desk Sitters)

You can also do a few gentle stretches when you wake up. I like a cross-legged seated twist or forward fold. 

Increase Range of Motion

My mom does not want to do yoga, even though she’s the most stiff person in the world. I keep telling her to do it, but she doubts that at her age she will get more flexible. This is just not true! Even with sporadic yoga classes and stretching after runs, my flexibility has increased tons over the years. Granted, I’m not like those yogis you see on Instagram, but I’m proud that I can now go all the way down in pigeon pose.

Doing stretches daily after runs, when you’re warm, will help increase flexibility and range of motion. Better range of motion = better mobility = less change of injury. When my PT started giving my exercises to increase my ankle and calf range of motion, it greatly helped my shin splint situation.

Relax The Mind

Doing a few stretches before bed can help you to relax your mind and de-stress. Just like you started the day with gentle stretching, you can end it with gentle stretching as well. Focus on each muscle you’re stretching, and then end with a good savasana/corpse pose :) Or, an exercise I like is to lay down, tense up a muscle group (let’s say your quads), and then release. Really focus on how your muscles are feeling, and releasing all of that tension. Start with your toes and move all the way up to your face.

Cool Down

Lastly, stretching is extremely important after workouts. Stretching and foam rolling (stay tuned for a foam rolling video coming this week). First foam roll, then stretch.

The videos I posted so far on my Instagram are all stretches I do on a daily basis post-exercise. Even if you only do 2-3 stretches afte a run…it’s better than nothing. And if you have to choose one, definitely go with pigeon pose!

Here are some stretches I’ve posted so far – make sure to follow me for a daily stretch through the month of February!

 

A video posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

This one is an amazing quad and hip flexor stretch. Make it more challenging by putting your back foot on a swiss ball.  

 

A video posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

This one is a great stretch for your inner thighs. Rock back and forth for a good dynamic stretch.

 

A video posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

Pigeon pose is my absolute favorite! If you aren’t yet at this level, keep an eye out on my Instagram later today for a modification. This is an amazing glute stretch and hip opener.

If you don’t stretch, I urge you to do just a few stretches after your exercises. You’ll feel better, and it’s a great way to cool the body down after a hard workout. 

Next, I’ll be talking about foam rolling and including a handy video :-) Stay tuned!

How often do you stretch?

What are your go-to stretches if you had to pick 2?

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