1. Foam Roll/Warm-Up
This is an excellent choice to get your body warmed up for a workout or yoga sessions. Women’s Running helps to break it down:
Foam rolling is an effective form of self-massage that can be performed anytime. But when you roll pre-workout, it can increase blood flow and decrease muscle density. Before you run out the door, spend five to 10 minutes on the quads, hamstrings, glutes, inner thighs, calves, IT band and back.
(a) Lie on your stomach and place the foam roller under the top of your thigh.
(b) Slowly roll from the top of your hip down to the top of your knee. Be mindful of any pressure points that need addressing.
(Hold the foam roller on any hot spots for up to 10 seconds.) Continue rolling all areas of the quad for up to 60 seconds. Move on to other key muscle groups.
2. Walking Lunge/Warm-Up
Dynamic exercises warm your muscles and improve range of motion, so you’ll feel more relaxed and powerful before the main event. Perform these stretches before putting the pedal to the metal during your workout.
Modified Walking Lunge
(a) Step forward and (b) lower into a lunge position until you feel a stretch in your back leg.
(c) Place your hands on your front ankle and straighten your legs to make an A-frame. You should feel a stretch in the front hamstring.
(d) Return to a lunge position and (e) lower your back knee to the ground.
(f) Place your hands on your front thigh and slowly move the front knee over your shoe as you feel a deep stretch in the back thigh. That’s one rep. Complete four reps total on each side.
3. Abductor Rockers/Post Workout
Knee on the ground. Place the right foot flat on the floor diagonally out to the right side, so that the leg forms a 90° angle to the floor. Lean into your leg in a slight rocking motion. The adductor muscles along the inner thighs can become tight—especially for those who sit at an office desk for long periods of time. You should feel a soothing stretch in inner thighs and hip flexors. This movement increases mobility in the joints, which is essential to prevent injuries.
4. Lunge/Overhead Reach/Post Workout
Start standing with feet hips distance apart. Move the right leg forward so you are in a deep lunge. Stretch the arms over head and lean to the right. Take a feel deep breaths as you deepen the stretch. Bright the right leg back to the standing position. Repeat with the other side extending the left leg forward into a deep lunge and leaning to the left with the arms over the head. This stretch lengthens the adductor, increases hip-hinge mobility, and causes frontal plane stability. By adding in the overhead reach, you get a greater emphasis on optimal core stabilization. It also targets the shoulder girdle area.
5. Hamstring Treatment/Post Workout
Stand tall, with your shoulders down and feet hip-width apart. Bring your left leg forward, heel down, toes up and leg straight. Keep your back straight, abs strong and bend the right knee as if sitting back while supporting yourself with both hands on your thighs. Repeat on opposite side.
We also asked the experts at The Endorphin Effect to offer some of their favorites stretches when they get ready or recover from a workout session:
Starting with a sun A salutation to warm up the breath and body – Priscilla Rodriguez, Yoga Instructor
Shoulder stretches: arm circles, shoulder rolls, cross-body arm stretch. Quads/Hamstrings: standing quad/hamstring stretches, forward fold/wide legged forward folds, side lunges. Hips: malasana (yogi squat) – Angela Salazar, Yoga Instructor
It’s not always about a specific stretch but the sequence that you do it – thats why a yoga class is so beneficial. The body is connected into one fluid piece not segmented into limbs and muscles – Miwa Gardi, Founder
Any, I believe the movement is the stretch. As a person becomes more fluid with their motion muscular tension gets converted into performance, natural movement and balanced muscle length. However, this may not be the case for everyone,so keeping the hips and pelvis from retaining too much tension contributes to body equilibrium – Humberto Medina, Operations Manager