When Is The Last Time You Stretched?
Have you done any stretching today?
Set aside a few minutes tonight before bed & I bet you sleep better than normal... It's simple things like this that can make a big difference, especially if you're sitting all day.
Our body adapts to what we put it through. If you sit a lot, you're going to have tightness. If you train a lot, you're going to have tightness.
It's best you address it, bit by bit, day by day, so things don't stack up. All you need is a few minutes a day to begin seeing improvements in your tightness, mobility, and pain.
These are my go-to stretches for the glutes & hips. Both help to combat the tightness in your lower body that comes with heavy training or lots of sitting.
If your lower back hurts, I suggest the couch stretch and really focus on opening up your hip flexors. This takes pressure off the lower back.
If your glutes and outsides of your hips are chronically tight, hang out in pigeon for a bit on each side. You'll be walking & squating better in no time.
If I'm feeling especially tight on a leg day, I can throw variations of these in with some relaxed, deep lunges for the hip flexors, and the stretches immediately open up my hips and glutes so I can get back to training at a higher performance level.
For the pecs, I like to fully outstretch my arms on the pec fly machine (a doorway works too) as if I'm about to start the movement, but instead, I lean forward into a deep stretch across the pecs & shoulders.
You may have to put more weight on the machine so the handles don't move.
If your shoulders or chest are always tight, incorporate this one.
For the lats, I like to grab onto an upright bar or column with one hand & step back into a lunge with the same side leg.
If you do this right, you'll feel a stretch in your lat, all the way from the armpit to where it ties in near your waist or lower back. You can control the intensity of the stretch by how much you lunge back and pull through hips. These are great if you feel tight when reaching over head.
Dead hangs are also good. I suggest these if you need decompression work, but they also require a strong grip to perform.
You can get similar benefits by holding yourself upright with fully locked-out arms on a dip station, relaxing your core and letting the weight of your legs & hips to stretch out your spine. These require less strength than dead hangs.
For the calves, hamstrings, and lower back, I prefer to use a slantboard.
Simply stand on the board with your toes facing upwards, lock your knees & slowly reach down to touch your toes. You should feel this all along the back of your legs & lower back.
Nearly everyone can benefit from doing this stretch regularly, especially people who sit all the time.
I typically stick to these main stretches unless something is particularly nagging me and it requires a different stretch to target it.
It only takes a few minutes, and sometimes even I slack on my stretching.
Thankfully for me, I've maintained a high level of mobility over the years and never let my mobility slip beyond acceptable standards.
Set aside a few minutes each day to work on the areas that bother you the most.
In a few short weeks, you'll see improvements in your mobility, tightness, and pain.
If you need guidance on how to target something that's been nagging you, let me know.
Spartan Training & Coaching
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