Stretching is crucial. It prevents injury, helps you cool down after a workout or warm up before and even helps get that toned look! By stretching out your muscles, it prevents them from bunching up. Instead you’ll achieve lengthy muscles to make you look leaner. Want an easy stretching routine? We’ve got one. Hold each pose for at least 30 seconds.
Sit on your mat with both legs stretched on in front of you. Bring your right foot up towards your left inner thigh. With your left hand, bend over and try to reach your left foot. Bend from your hips and keep your shoulders relaxed. Hunching over will only stretch your back, not your hammies. Repeat this on the other leg.
This is called ‘child’s pose’, often used in yoga. Begin on your hands and knees. Sink your hips back into your heels with your knees pointing outwards. Walk your hands up the mat so your back is straight and being stretched. Rest your forehead on the mat.
Glutes and hips
Lie on your back with your knees elevated at right ankles. Hold your left foot with your right hand. Bring it towards your torso so that it is resting on your right quad (which should be upright). Hold your upper right leg with both hands around your hamstrings and bring it closer. You should feel this in your left hand glute. Repeat on the other side.
Stand a few inches away from a wall. With one foot, rest your toes on the wall keeping your heel on the ground. Adjust yourself so you can feel the stretch in your calf. Then repeat on the other side.
You can do this standing up or sitting upright on your mat. Clasp your hands behind your back, hen turn your clasped palms down towards the floor. Lift up your hands until you feel the stretch in your biceps.
Start sitting or standing with your back straight. Lift your left arm overhead, then bend it so that your palm is touching the middle of your back – keep your upper arm where it is as much as possible. With the other hand, grasp your elbow so your palm is facing downwards. Pull the bent elbow towards the other arm and downwards slightly so that you can feel the stretch in your tricep. Repeat on the other side.
Lie face down on your mat. Bend both of your knees and reach with both hands to grab your ankles (or as far behind as you can if you can’t reach them). Once you are holding them, pull your ankles towards your head gently so that you can feel the stretch in your quads. Be careful of your knees – if it feels as though you are pulling them, stop immediately.
Sit on your mat or stand up, making sure your back is straight. With your arms behind you, clasp them together. Lift your chest and raise your arms slowly until you feel tension spread across your chest.