Every athlete, no matter how good, always follows a workout pattern to avoid injury, pain or stress to muscles. This usually begins with a warm up and ends with a cool down. Both are necessary as they improve performance, reduce the risk of injury and decrease muscle tension. They also improve flexibility, keep the blood flowing and help one attain better posture while reducing any aches and pains. If you have been skipping stretching due to a lack of time, we can try some of these quick, simple and effective stretches for muscle recovery after every workout.
Stretches for Muscle Recovery Post Workout
To get started, we must focus more on the muscles used during the workout.
1. Gentle Walk or Jog
A very light jog or walk is the simplest and the most perfect way to cool down naturally. You can do spot jogging or move around the room at a normal walking pace.
2. Hip Flexor Stretch in Lunge Position
- Get into the lunge position starting with both hands on the left knee
- The right knee and calf should be on the ground
- Now use your right hand to slowly pull up your right foot until you feel a stretch in your hip area
- Hold the position for 20-40 seconds
- Slowly release and repeat for the left leg
3. Toe Touch
- Stand with the feet together or shoulder-width apart
- Keep the knees straight, do not lock it
- Bending at the hips, slowly lower the head down toward the knees, keeping the back as straight as possible
- Reach towards the toes, and let the neck relax
- Hold for up to 20-40 seconds
- Rise slowly back up to standing position.
4. Standing Calf Stretch
- Stand near a wall with feet shoulder width apart
- Place one foot in front of the other, front knee slightly bent.
- Keep your back knee straight, your heel on the ground, and lean toward the wall.
- Feel the stretch all along the calf of your back leg.
- Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds.
5. Standing Quad Stretch
- Stand upright with your feet together
- Raise the heel of one leg up behind you and pull that leg up towards your butt with your hand
- Keep pulling your leg up until you feel it stretching your quad, but not to the point of pain
- Hold the stretch for a few counts and then switch sides
6. Seated Hamstring Stretch
- Sit down with both legs straightened out in front of you, knees and heels together. Then reach both arms forward towards your toes to feel a stretch through the back of the legs.
- If possible, try and hold your toes in this position for a minimum of 60 seconds while taking deep, slow breaths
- Keep your legs straight, without letting the knees buckle. If you’re unable to reach your toes while keeping your legs straight, you can hold the end of a towel looped around your foot
- As you hold this stretch and feel your muscles start to adjust and relax, you can start going deeper on your exhale and hold, which will slowly increase your hamstring flexibility
7. Seated Twist
- Sit on a mat and stretch the legs out in front of the body
- Bring the left leg over the right leg and place the left foot on the floor, bending the left knee
- Twist to the left and use the right arm to press the left knee gently inward
- Hold for 30 seconds
- Untwist and repeat on the other side
8. Overhead Tricep Stretch
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and roll your shoulders back and down to release any tension
- Reach your right arm up to the ceiling, then bend your elbow to bring your right palm down toward the center of your back
- Bring your left hand up to gently pull your right elbow downward
- Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds before switching arms
- Repeat on both sides 2 or 3 times, attempting to get a deeper stretch with each repetition.
9. Child’s Pose
- Kneel on the floor with your toes together and your knees hip-width apart. Rest your palms on top of your thighs
- Lower your torso between your knees. Extend your arms alongside your torso with your palms facing down. Relax your shoulders toward the ground
- Hold for 30-40 seconds
- Bring the arms back in and slowly sit up
Few Tips To Prevent Injuries
- Do not over stretch yourself, listen to your body and stop if you feel pain
- Maintain correct posture, or else you might end up stretching the wrong way which will cause more harm than good
- Inhale and exhale through your stretches
- Always start at a slow pace to last longer.
If you have any injury or medical condition, perform the stretches under supervision and talk to your healthcare provider before starting any program. If you’re unsure on how to perform stretches correctly, do it under a certified trainer’s guidance. Alternatively, you can also check out our LIVE sessions by experts on GOQii Play for muscle recovery stretches.
We hope this article on effective stretches for muscle recovery helps you. For more articles on fitness, check out Healthy Reads now!