We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Stretching is a key component to any fitness regime, providing relief, increased flexibility and a reduced risk of injury. Always stretch when your muscles are warm, preferably right after a workout, aiming to hold each stretch for 30 seconds or longer. Breathe deeply and focus on each individual muscle while pushing into the stretch, visualizing your muscle becoming long and supple. If a stretch becomes painful, ease up to avoid injury or strain. Always remember to repeat stretches on both sides to ensure balanced muscles.
Major Muscle Groups
The body is made up of eight major muscle groups. From head to toe, these groups include the shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, back, butt, thighs and calves. The deltoid and trapezius muscles make up the upper back and shoulders. The front of the arm houses the biceps while the back is home to the triceps. The chest muscle is known as pectoralis major and below that you'll find the two abdominal muscles: the rectus abdominis and obliques. Your back is made up of three muscles including the erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, and rhomboids. The gluteus maximus fills out your backside while your thighs consist of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Finally, your calves include the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.
Release tension in the back of the shoulders by swinging one straight arm across the chest, holding it at the elbow with the opposite arm. To open the chest and further stretch the shoulders, grasp a hand towel in one hand, bringing it behind your neck with your elbow pointing to the side. Bring the opposite hand to your back, grasping the bottom of the towel. Pull up on the towel gently to feel the stretch. Stretch the biceps by extending both arms out from your sides at shoulder height. Turn your palms so they face behind you and hold. To release tension from the triceps, bring one arm up above your head, then reach the palm down toward the center of your upper back. To deepen the stretch, use your opposite hand to pull slightly on the elbow that is pointing up.
Stretch your body's core abdominal, oblique and back muscles by standing tall and reaching both arms up over the head. Elongate the spine and reach to one side, keeping the arms straight. Perform a seated twist by stretching both legs out in front of you and crossing one leg over the opposite knee, pulling it as close to the chest as possible. Slowly twist your upper body in the same direction as the bent knee, twisting from the bottom of the spine upward. Rest one arm slightly behind the hip and place the other hand softly on top of the bent knee.
Elongate the calf muscles by standing at arm's length in front of a wall or the back of a chair. Steady yourself with outstretched arms as you place one foot behind you, bending the opposite knee. Keep both heels planted firmly into the floor to feel the calf muscles stretch. Stretch all of the muscles in the back of the legs with a yoga pose called the Forward Bend. Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your toes facing forward. Slowly fold your torso over your legs by bending forward from the hips, letting the weight of your head and arms pull you down until you're hanging freely. Keep the spine long by pressing up slightly with the hips.