After Exercise Stretches to Increase Range of Motion
By J.R. Rosania
I am often asked what stretches to perform before exercising. I always have the same response, " Its better to stretch AFTER exercising, when the muscles have been worked and are fatigued". When trying to stretch prior to exercising, while the muscles are cold and have not been worked has proven to be much less effective.
As we age, our muscles lose their elasticity and as the muscles shorten with age our range of motion is decreased. This loss of range can or will effect our biomechanics and impact our strokes. It can also pose stroke deficiencies and lead to injuries. So, we need to make stretching a priority in our training programs.
When performing there are a few "rule of thumbs" to abide by.
#1 ONLY hold a stretch for about 10 seconds.
#2 SLOWLY work into the stretch, with the last few seconds being the most aggressive.
#3 DO NOT stretch to the point of discomfort.
#4 WORK for an increase in range of motion as you stretch
Begin each stretch slowly and work form easy to aggressive. Perform 5 "reps" of 10-15 second stretches per each stretch. The complete routine should take 10-12 minutes.
So by adding these stretches, you will be able to maintain healthy muscles and range of motion, and prolong the process of losing out to tighter muscles and joints.
Butterfly stretch.....In a seated position, let your legs spread open and slowly lower them to the ground. Using your arms, gently push your legs closer to the ground. Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat 4-5 times.
Single leg hamstring stretch....In a seated position, extend one leg forward and bend the other leg inward. Slowly begin to lower your upper body toward your foot, using your hand to reach for your foot. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and do 5 reps. Switch to the other leg.
Hip stretch....In a seated position, extend and straight one leg forward and place the other leg over the extended leg. Rotate your upper body and using your elbow and upper body, rotate and stretch your hips and waist. Hold for 10 seconds.. perform 5 reps then switch to the opposite side.
Lat and shoulder stretch.....Standing, lift one arm over your head and bend your elbow and place your other palm over the bent elbow. Slowly pull the arm outstretched and pull behind your head. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times then switch to the other arm/
Triceps stretch....Standing cross your body with one out stretched arm. Place your other hand on the forearm and pull the out stretched arm toward your body. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times then switch arms.