You must take care of the muscles you have worked so hard to get by keeping them flexible, limber, and lengthened. Having healthy muscles will help your workouts be more effective and burn more calories. Here are some effective stretches you can do to keep your muscles healthy.
The Cobra Roll-Up
To do this stretch, simply lay down on the floor with your stomach on the floor, your hands flat on the floor, and your elbows up. Push up with your hands so your back is arched and you are looking straight ahead.
This helps to stretch the area of the spine that is in the upper and middle back. It helps to create mobility and clarity in the upper body muscles. Having proper mobility in the upper back in very important to maintaining a healthy core, which then helps properly lift weights.
Core muscle health is important in overall muscle health because training and stretching the core targets all of the muscles groups that work together to stabilize the spine and the pelvis. These muscle groups are critical when the body is transferring energy from large to small areas of the body during various sporting and weight-lifting activities.
There are a few ways you can stretch your hips, but this is a great way to have the most control over the stretch. Lie face down with both feet stretched out behind you on the floor. Bring the inside of the heel of one leg up to the opposite pants pocket by bending your knee. This helps align your hips, allowing you to drive them as much or as little as you need to into the floor, which will accentuate the stretch.
This helps release the most overworked part of the body. Many people spend the bulk of their day sitting and working at a desk, which prevents these muscles from being stretched on a regular basis. This can cause the muscles to get tight, which can lead to other health issues such as lower back pain.
Keeping your hips flexible will help prevent injury to the body and is important in gaining strength throughout other areas of the body as well.
Floor Bar and Roller
Using a foam roller on your muscles helps to keep them lengthened and flexible. Using a foam roller gives your muscles many of the same benefits that a massage does, including reducing inflammation, stress on your joints, scar tissue, and improving circulation and flexibility.
Floor bar and roller exercises can be performed separately on an as-needed basis, or they can all be combined into a pre- or post-workout routine. When rolling your muscles, slowly move the muscle back and forth over the roller for 20 to 30 seconds. Take slow, deep breaths as you are doing the rolling to encourage your muscles to relax.
The body actually loses space when weight training. Floor bar and roller stretches will counteract the compressive forces of areas such as the chest, arms, and shoulders. This will allow your muscles to easily function through a longer range of motion, which will then provide you with extra gains during your workout.
So while stretching is very important in the prevention of injury to your muscles, it is also a critical part of getting the most out of your workouts and maintaining proper muscle health. While your actual workout is what gets your muscles started, how you treat your muscles when you are not working out will also have an effect on their health.