Stretching Routine: 10 Stretching Exercises

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Full Body Stretching Routine with 10 Stretching Exercises

Stretching Image

Stretching is an important part on any exercise plan. Stretching is good for both aerobic fitness enthusiasts and weightlifters. It improves your range of motion, decreases your risk for injury, and improves the workout as a whole. Find a full body stretching routine with 10 simple stretching exercises below.

Why is stretching important? If you do not have the proper range of motion required for a repetitive sport, such as running, sooner or later you will likely end up with an overuse injury. And, if you don’t have the proper range of motion for a particular weightlifting exercise, you will over-compensate, lose form, and set yourself up for injury.

Here are 5 guidelines for stretching. Also, check out EMG’s full body stretching routine with a full compliment of stretching exercises below for both aerobic and resistance training. The routine only takes between 6 and 9 minutes if you hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Please also feel free to use and share EMG’s Stretching Routine Infographic below. Use the embed code below the graphic.

 

5 Guidelines for Stretching

  • Warm-up before you perform any stretching exercises. Do not stretch cold muscles.
  • Focus on the target muscle involved in the stretch. Relax the target muscle, and minimize the movement of the rest of your body. Do not tense up or contract the muscle being stretched.
  • Hold stretching exercises for 10 to 60 seconds. Do not bounce into or out of the stretch.
  • Stretch to the limit of movement. Do not stretch to the point of pain.
  • Breath slowly and rhythmically throughout the stretch. Do not hold your breath at any point during the stretch.

 


 

Full Body Stretching Routine

The following stretching routine is simple and efficient. It contains 10 stretching exercises with videos that hit most major muscle groups. In total, it takes between 6 and 9 minutes to complete this stretching routine if you hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Use this general guide for stretching after a warm-up or after an aerobic or resistance workout.

Full Body Stretching Routine + 10 Stretching Exercises
 

10 Stretching Exercises

Calf Stretch

The calf stretch is one of the primary stretching exercises for stretching the lower leg and foot. It is an often overlooked stretch but it is still important for running, cycling, and weight training. If the calves are not properly stretched, the user may experience a cramp. The calf stretch is performed one leg at a time, while bracing yourself against a wall or sturdy piece of exercise equipment. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

 

Quad Stretch

Quad StretchThe quad stretch is an important leg stretch that should be used as a complement to the hamstring stretch. The quad stretch is performed one leg at a time. Both the quad stretch and hamstring stretch should be part of any stretching routine. If you cannot balance on one leg, brace yourself against a wall or sturdy piece of exercise equipment. The leg being stretched should be perpendicular to the body. Do not let the leg flare during the stretch. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

 

Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring StretchThe hamstring stretch is an important leg stretch that should be used as a complement to the quad stretch. Both the hamstring and quad stretch should be part of any stretching routine. The hamstring stretch that is performed with one leg bent is preferable to the stretch that is performed with two legs. By performing the stretch with a bent leg, the user will not be limited by tightness in the other hamstring which might be experienced if you have to keep it straight. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

 

Groin Stretch

Groin StretchThe groin stretch is one of the primary stretching exercises for working the groin and inner thigh area. This particular stretch is better than the butterfly stretch that stretches both sides of the muscle at the same time because it prevents one side from being limited by a less flexible other side. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

 

IT Band Stretch

IT Band StretchThe IT band stretch is one of the most important and overlooked stretching exercises. Tightness in the IT band can be very painful and limiting for anyone looking to run, cycle, walk, or lift legs. When performing this exercise, brace yourself against a wall or sturdy piece of equipment. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

 


 

Lower Back Stretch

Lower Back StretchThis stretch is one of the most important stretching exercises for both relieving low back pain and improving future low back health. It should be part of any stretching routine. It is important for the user to keep the leg that is not being pulled to the chest flat on the ground. Doing so keeps the back in the proper position for the best lower back stretch. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good. (See EMG’s Lower Back Stretches for more stretches.)

 

Front Shoulder Stretch

Front Shoulder StretchThe front shoulder stretch is the primary stretch for stretching the frontal deltoids. When performing this exercise, the user should grip the upper part of the arm. This allows the user to get the best stretch of the muscle and prevents any undo pressure on the elbow. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

 

Back Shoulder Stretch

Back Shoulder StretchBack shoulder stretches are the basic stretching motion for the shoulder muscles. They may be performed either with a towel or rope to bridge the gap between the two hands. If the user is flexible enough, he may perform the stretch without a towel or rope, simply by putting his hands together and pulling. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

 

Tricep Stretch

Tricep StretchThe tricep stretch is an alternating arm stretch that stretches the triceps muscles. This exercise is one of the important upper body stretching exercises because triceps are used in all pressing motions, including those in chest and shoulder workouts. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard by pulling with the opposite arm. This can do more harm than good.

 

Neck Stretch

Neck StretchThe neck stretch is a stretch to improve flexibility and prevent future injury to the neck. When the user is performing the neck stretch, he should keep his spine straight throughout. A bend in the spine coupled with the stretching of the neck could lead to injury due to pressure from the spine upon the neck. Standing upright and not stretching the neck too far will prevent any such injury. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

 


 

Please feel free to use EMG’s Stretching Infographic below with Full Body Stretching Routine. Use the embed code below the graphic.

10 Basic Stretching Exercises: Stretching Routine Infographic

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Reference: http://elitemensguide.com/stretching-an-overview/
Image: http://elitemensguide.com/assets/10-Basic-Stretches.png

EMG Exercise Homepage: Exercise for Men

External Resources: Mayo Clinic: Stretching Routine with 10 Basic Stretching Exercises

Updated: March 31th, 2015