Stretches to Do Before You Hit the Gym

Posted on: December 14th, 2016 by Forbin Admin

Is going to the gym a part of your New Year’s Resolution? Don’t injure yourself in the process! Try a few of these stretches before you start working out, and hopefully you can avoid aches and pains:

1.) Swing your legs.

To gain flexibility in your hamstrings and hip flexors prior to a run, a leg swing stretch is an effective tool. Use your left hand for support and hold onto a stable object, such as a tree or pillar, to prevent falling. Face forward and stare ahead. First, swing your left leg forward, keeping it as straight as possible. As you bring it back down, use momentum to swing it behind your body. Use a nice and controlled motion to do this. Continue swinging for 10 reps. After you have completed this, switch sides by facing the opposite direction and use your opposite hand to provide your support. For additional benefits, you can also utilize this stretch to further open up your hips by facing forward and swinging your leg in the same controlled motion across your body. Do this to both sides of your body to achieve full results.

2.) Lunge and Walk.

If you are readying for a big run, utilizing a dynamic stretch as opposed to a static or stationary stretch can better prepare your body for maximum performance.  Dynamic stretching means your body is still in constant movement, which warms up your muscles more effectively than static stretches. Start with walking lunges to open up your quads and hip flexors. Stand with your feet together and take a long step forward with your right foot. Bend the front knee 90 degrees and back knee until it almost touches the floor. Hold your pose for a few seconds before working to straighten your back leg. You will feel a nice, gentle stretch through the front of your left thigh. Next, rise up and take a big step forward with your left knee to stretch your left side. By stimulating the movement of running, you are preparing your body for what’s ahead.


3.)  Bent-leg kickback.

Also referred to as donkey kicks or a quadruped hip extension, this stretch is a great way to help strengthen your glutes as well as your hamstrings and lower back. First, descend to a hands and knees position with your back flat. Bring your left leg back. When doing this, you should feel a gentle stretch through your hamstrings and glutes. Keep your left leg bent and your left ankle flexed as you bring it upwards. Try to get your left hamstring and back in a straight line and preform 10 reps before switching to your right side. If it is painful to be on your wrists and knees, you can use a stability ball opposed to laying on the floor. This will help take the pressure off of your wrists and knees as well as your shoulders.

At Horizon Rehab, we applaud any effort you make towards a healthier you! Contact us today to learn how we can be your health partner.

Comments are closed.