My muscles have been very tight and “heavy” feeling lately. When I get to this point, I am usually tired, which is a result of over training and not enough resting! We are all sometimes guilty, including myself, of skipping the stretching/recovery days, because we are all about the intensity of the workout…”No Pain, No Gain”, right? Wrong! It is just important to rest your muscles as it is to challenge them! When we go non-stop, 24/7, we put our brain and body under serious stress! No one performs, or feels, well when they’re under serious mental/physical stress. Not to mention, this can attribute to some other not-so-healthy side effects!
It has taken me many years to learn this. Along with practicing on self-awareness and not ignoring the signs my body is trying to tell me. I still have LOTS to go! I used to use working out as a form of punishment and would workout to obtain an unhealthy goal (i.e. weight loss, make up for the whole bag of Oreo cookies I devoured), but somewhere in between this unhealthy relationship with working out and now, I found a happy medium! I also actually enjoy working out and it improves my attitude for the day, but I wont get into the whole “unhealthy relationship with working out” talk. I will save that for another post! 😉
The intentions of this post, is to share some of my favorite stretches that I’ve learned over my fitness journey, along with my favorite Yoga movements!
** Please Note: The below stretches/Yoga moves are movements that pair greatly with my form of working out and the soreness that comes from it. I am not implying that these movements will solve all of your health/fitness problems! There are plenty of other great stretches/Yoga movements out there!
Spend a minute or two in each stretch, making sure to breath deeply in and out!
1. Butterfly Stretch:
Notice in this picture my tailbone is tucked in and my posture is up right. This allows me to maximize the stretch in my inner thighs!
2. Wide Leg Forward Fold
In this position I have a slight bend in my knee and relaxed arms and shoulders. By being relaxed, it pulls the weight forward so I can feel a good stretch in my hamstrings inner thighs and buttocks area!
3. Runners Lunge
The important things to notice with this stretch is that my knee is aligned with my ankles, not going pass them, and my chest is up. My feet on the back leg is also facing down. This allows me to get a deeper stretch, but you can transition on your toes as well!
4. Shoulder/Arm stretch
This is the first step to the stretch. Notice that my knees are far away from each other and my toes touch. This allows you to get lower to the floor during this stretch! Take a DEEP breath in while you reach the arm to the sky and then…
5. Forward fold- Yoga stretch
In the forward fold, my head and arms are heavy, and I have a slight bend in my knees. This is a yummy stretch for the back, hamstrings, and hips. If you’ve ever practiced Yoga, you have done this before and you also sway side-to-side. This releases a lot of tension in the hips! ❤
These are my go-to stretches for post-workouts, or when I only have time for something quick! I have combined these by practicing stretching and Yoga. If you’re not a big “stretching person”, I strongly recommend that you change this! Make it a habit to stretch it out at the end of the day and post-workouts!
I also recommend trying Yoga out! Check out your local Yoga studio with a friends or try it out in the privacy of your home!
I love Yoga with Adriene! She can be found on YouTube or you can subscribe to her website! She has short Yoga sessions, she is super fun, and breaks things down for you! She also has Yoga for every little thing in life! 😊
My favorite of hers are:
- Yoga Rinse
- Yoga Stretch
- Power Yoga
- Let it Go- Yoga Flow
I hope you check out her Yoga videos and get to stretchin’!