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An effective stretches combo

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

Stretching regularly when exercising is important to prevent the tightening of muscles and to reduce soreness when working out.

Many of us do not stretch effectively or enough when exercising and it can be tempting to skip regular stretching, particularly after a solid workout (as it can also be easy not to warm up beforehand!).

My advice is to both warm up and stretch after exercising whenever possible.

In this light, below is a simple set of stretches to help avoid post-workout soreness.

Bent arm chest stretch

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

This stretch mainly targets the pectoralis major and minor, as well as the anterior deltoid.

Step by step:

  1. Stand straight, ideally near a wall (or a piece of gym equipment).

  2. Raise your arm so it is parallel to the ground and bend it at a 90-degree angle.

  3. Rest your forearm against the wall or equipment.

  4. Turn your shoulders and body away from your extended arm.

  5. Keep your arm parallel to the floor during the stretch.

Lying cross-over kneel pull down stretch

This is a stretching exercise that primarily targets the hip flexors.

Step by step:

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended.

  2. Cross one leg over your body, keeping your knees bent.

  3. Try to touch your knee to the floor.

  4. Try to raise the bent knee off the ground.

  5. After 10-20 seconds, relax your leg.

  6. Repeat on the other side.

Kneeling quad stretch

This is a stretching exercise that primarily targets the quads.

Step by step:

  1. Place a mat on the ground and get down on your knees.

  2. Place your left foot on the floor so that your knee is bent 90 degrees.

  3. Reach back with your right hand and grab hold of your right foot.

  4. Begin the exercise by pulling your foot to your backside.

  5. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

  6. Alternate legs and repeat as necessary.

Lying leg tuck hip stretch

This is a great way to stretch your buttocks and hip abductors.

Step by step:

  1. Lie on your stomach and bend one leg underneath it.

  2. Lean towards the ground.

  3. Have your arms extended out in front of you.

  4. Hold for the desired amount of time.

  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

Behind the back chest stretch

This stretch targets your chest.

Step by step:

  1. Breathe comfortably and maintain a good posture.

  2. Engage the muscles of your abdomen throughout this stretch to assist with posture and protect the back.

  3. Clasp your hands behind your back.

  4. Squeeze shoulder blades together.

  5. For an additional stretch, lift your hands off the back.

Standing quad stretch

Finally, this stretch targets the quadriceps.

Step by step:

  1. Stand on one leg.

  2. If you need support, hold onto something solid, such as a wall or chair, for support.

  3. Bend your right knee and bring your heel toward your buttock.

  4. Reach for your ankle with your opposite (left) hand.

  5. Stand up straight and pull in your abdominal muscles.

  6. Try to keep your knees next to each other. Relax your shoulders.

  7. As you hold your leg in the bent position you will feel a slight pull along the front of your thigh and hip.

  8. Breathe deeply and hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, release and repeat on the left leg, this time holding your ankle with your right hand.

  9. Stretch each leg one to five times in a stretching session.

Thanks to Massage Therapist Georgia Fletcher for her help with posture and the photos in this blog.

If you have any queries about the stretches above, or about exercising more generally, feel free to get in touch.


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