Bodybuilding 6 MIN READ 53 VIEWS January 21, 2023

Pre And Post Workout Flexibility Exercises

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Flexibility Exercises

You need to be flexible if you are into gymnastics or if you practice yoga is a misconception. All of us need to be flexible for better mobility. If you are a fitness enthusiast and are involved in regular physical activity, flexibility exercises are crucial both before a workout and post-workout. Body stretching exercises provide an array of benefits like preparing your muscles for the routine that follows, improving your range of motion, and reducing the risk of injuries and muscle soreness.

Impact of Flexibility Exercises

Body stretching exercises before starting a workout routine and after completion of a session have their importance.

If you start a workout routine before proper stretching, your tight muscles will be exposed to sudden activity and it may cause injury. Stretches for flexibility before a workout relaxes the muscles and prepares them for the exercise routine and prevents injuries.

Flexibility exercises after a workout referred to as maintenance stretches enable lactic acid to move out of your muscles which reduces muscle soreness. These body stretching exercises improve blood circulation and help faster muscle recovery and prep you for your next session.

If you are hard up on time, you should try to incorporate a few stretches to warm up and cool down your muscles for a safe and effective workout session.

Pre-workout Flexibility Exercises

Warm-up or dynamic stretches before commencing a workout improve the range of motion of muscles and joints. The safety of your training session is your sole responsibility and you should put serious efforts to include flexibility exercises before you commence a session. If you have fitness goals, dynamic stretches are highly beneficial. When properly performed, dynamic stretches improve your agility and performance during a workout. Two three sets of 10 reps of the dynamic stretches recommended below will provide you with a complete warm-up.

1. Squats

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • With your toes slightly pointed out, core engaged, and knees soft, push your hips back as you squat down.
  • Your thighs should be parallel to the ground.
  • Keep your chest up.
  • Clasp your hands in front or hold your hands straight in front.

2. Leg Swings

  • Stand straight.
  • Keep your hips in position.
  • In a single smooth movement swing one leg forward and backwards.
  • Switch sides and repeat.
  • Complete 10 reps on each side.
  • If you are unable to balance you can hold on to a wall.
  • Start with light leg swings and extend your range of motion gradually.

3. High Knees

  • Stand with legs hip-width apart.
  • Maintain straight posture.
  • Lift one knee up to your chest and rapidly switch to your other leg.
  • Beginning the exercise with spot jogging will be helpful.
  • Engage your core as you switch from one leg to another.
  • You should maintain a jogging or sprinting pace as you switch legs.

4. Butt-kicks

  • Stand staring with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Keep your arms at your side.
  • Bring the heel of one foot off the floor towards the glutes and raise the opposite hand towards your shoulder. It should appear as if you are running.
  • Switch to the other leg rapidly.
  • Keep your shoulder back and core active throughout the pre-workout stretch.

5. Plank Walk-outs

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Reach down by bending from your hips.
  • Place your hands on the floor in front of your feet.
  • Shift your weight onto your hands and walk forward until you form a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Keep your core engaged and keep your hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Hold for the desired length and then walk backwards and return to starting position.

6. Arm Circles

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend your arms out to the side, parallel to the floor.
  • Use small controlled movements and circle your arms forward.
  • Increase the size of the circle gradually till you feel the stretch in your triceps.
  • Repeat the same in the opposite direction.

7. Lunges

  • Stand straight.
  • Engage your core and take a big step forward with your right leg.
  • Shift your weight so that your heel lands first.
  • Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your right shin is vertical.
  • Press into your heel and drive yourself back to the starting position.
  • Repeat with your left leg.

8. Jumping Jacks

  • Stand straight with your legs together and arms at your sides.
  • Bend your knees slightly and jump into the air spreading your legs shoulder-width apart and stretching your arms out and over your head.
  • Jump back to the starting position and repeat.

Post-workout Flexibility Exercises

Cooling down to restore your body temperature is vital. Static stretches that are held for about 10 to 60 seconds form a part of the cooling routine. These stretches do not involve any movement and enable the relaxation of the muscles. This prevents the risk of injury and increases flexibility after a workout.

There are a few body stretching exercises recommended and you choose to stretch the muscles you have worked on during the routine. Hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.

1. Toe Touch

  • Stand straight with your feet slightly apart and your toes pointing forward.
  • Keep your legs straight and bend forward from the hips.
  • Reach down toward your toes.
  • Engage your core throughout the stretch.
  • Repeat a few times.

2. Shoulder Stretch

  • Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your right arm in front of your body at chest height.
  • Using the creasing of your left arm or hand, support your right arm.
  • Stretch your shoulder and continue facing forward.
  • Hold for some time and then repeat on the other side.

3. Samson Stretch

  • Stand straight.
  • Keep your chest forward and core engaged.
  • Step forward with your right foot in the lunge position.
  • Lower your left knee to the ground and extend the right knee forward.
  • Clasp your hands together and push out, lifting your arms over your head.
  • Hold for a while and repeat on the other side.
  • Your chest should face forward throughout the stretch.

4. Butterfly Stretch

  • Sit with your back straight and knees bent.
  • Drop the legs to your sides and bring back the soles of the feet together.
  • Grasp at either your feet or ankle.
  • Lean forward slightly keeping your back straight.
  • Place your elbow on your thighs and press down gently for the stretch.

5. Cobra Stretch

  • Lie flat with your stomach on the ground and feet stretched behind you.
  • Bring your hand next to your chest.
  • Engage your glutes and back muscles to curl the chest up away from the ground.
  • Hold the position for a while.

6. Knee to Chest

  • Stand straight.
  • Lift your right knee towards your chest.
  • Pull the knee towards your belly button with your hands.
  • Hold for a while and lower your knee.
  • Repeat on the other leg.
  • Keep your core engaged and back straight throughout the stretch.

7. Quadriceps Stretch

  • Stand straight with your legs together.
  • Stand on one leg.
  • Raise the opposite foot and pull it towards your glutes using your hand.
  • Hold and then repeat. Move to the cat stretch.

8. Cat Stretch

  • Keep your hands and knees on the ground.
  • Keep your spine relaxed and parallel to the ground.
  • Round your spine and pull your hips forward gently pulling your chin towards your chest.
  • Then move into the cow stretch.

9. Cow Stretch

  • Place your hands and knees on the ground.
  • Keep your spine relaxed and parallel to the ground.
  • Press your chest forward and sink your belly towards the floor.
  • Relax your shoulders away from your ear and look straight ahead.
  • Hold for a while and return to the cat stretch.

Cat and cow stretch are normally combined.

Conclusion

For your fitness resolution this new year you might indulge in a workout routine that fits your fitness goals. Before heading on with your workout sessions it is important to understand the advantages of flexibility exercises before and after a workout to achieve your fitness goals without any damage or injuries.
Pre-workout body stretches help in relaxing and preparing the muscles for the workout routine. Post-workout stretches help in reducing muscle soreness and boosting muscle recovery and repair. Make enough time for dynamic stretches before a workout and either lower body stretches or upper body stretches after a workout depending on the muscle you have worked on.

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