Before we explore the names of stretches, it’s important to stress how vital stretching is to your fitness routine. It doesn’t matter if your regime happens to be, Cardio, Cycling, Running, Weight training, MMA fighting, you need to stretch.
Preferably everyone should be stretching before and after a workout, a good way around this is to set aside a time to warm up so all the muscles can be thoroughly stretched out.
You can start with a posture check….
Stand with your back to a wall. Press your heels, buttocks, shoulders and head against the wall. Move the feet forward, and bend your knees so your back slides a few inches down the wall.
Tighten your abdominal muscles so you can flatten your lower back against the wall. Relax. Repeat.
The Reason We Need To Stretch
So why is stretching your muscles important? The muscles, even those you may not think are tight or sore need to be lengthened to assist with recovery, reduce incidences of injury and enable the muscles to go in a full range of motion in comparison to a muscle that is inflamed from a previous injury.
Muscles get tighter over time….
As time goes on, and people age, no matter how fit you are, the muscles will get tighter and tighter. What happens then is that there will be a tendency to compensate with other muscles.
Take, for example, a job where you are at a desk for hours. You may be sitting with your arms reached forward, shoulders rounded while your back is slightly slouched. Since your arms are stretched forward, your chest is pushed in, this means your back muscles, that are in a slouched position, are taking all the pressure while your chest muscles become shortened and tight.
Not only does this create stiffness, it also means the muscles are not being properly oxygenated. Then there’s those rounded shoulders that are hunched forward, this puts an immense amount of stress on the neck along with the trapezius muscles (a the top of the back).
Is it any wonder that people have such sore necks at the end of the day? The lower half of your body is also under strain. With knees bent in the chair, your hamstrings (the back of the thigh) you will find they tighten and shorten.
This is why back pain is more than likely to occur sitting at a desk or being sedentary than in any other situation. For stress to leave the body, and circulation to be revived, those muscles need to be lengthened.
Stretches to warm up muscles
For your muscles to stave off pain and stress, stretching your chest, upper and lower back, neck, shoulders, hips, abdominal, hamstrings, quadriceps (front of the thigh), and calves critical to a healthy pain-free life.
One of the key points to a good stretch is ensuring that your muscles are warm. It really is not a good idea to stretch with cold muscles. So give your joints a bit of a roll before holding a stretch.
Each stretch needs to be held for at least 10-20 seconds for maximum benefits. If you also take deep breaths while stretching you will release any pent up tension and enable your body to relax and stretch a little deeper.
If it hurts in a certain spot, do not continue to stretch. There may be a little tension and resistance in a stretch but not pain.
Get tools such as bands, a towel, a strap or even blocks can be involved so they can help you stretch without discomfort. They are also a great way to help you get the proper positioning of a stretch and ease you into position.
Also note that you should listen to your body. Come out of each stretch slowly.
The Names of stretches
Exercise #1: Neck Flexion
The Lateral Neck Flexion is one of the names of stretches that is simple to do and gives instant relief.
- Face straight forward not letting the chin drop down
- Move your ear towards the shoulder
- While doing this do not let your shoulder lift
- Hold this for around 10 and 30 seconds
- Stretch your arms out so the flats of your palms are against a wall and your elbows are nearly straight. This can also be done with a chair, as illustrated above.
- Bend your right knee and step your left leg back a foot or two, positioning its heel and foot flat on the floor. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Next, bend your left knee while keeping your heel and foot flat on the floor. For a deeper stretch, move your foot back a bit farther.
- Change legs and repeat.
Single knee to chest
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Grasp your left knee with your hands and pull back toward your left shoulder until you feel a good stretch. Slowly lower the leg back to the floor and repeat the same procedure with the right leg.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms crossed over your chest. Roll your chin toward your chest and raise your head and shoulders off the floor. Relax.
Below are a list of names of stretches and how to do them. Most are simple manoeuvres that can be done at a desk or while out running.
The Names of stretches and The Importance Of Stretching.