Stretch Band Exercises You Won’t Mind Doing
We can all admit to skipping out on stretching, either before or after a workout. It is easy to create an excuse to not stretch: too tired, not enough time, the list goes on and on. Despite the seemingly long list of reasons to pass on some pre- or post-workout stretching, the benefits of taking the few precious minutes to stretch are copious. Doing stretch band exercises reduces risk of injury, helps to stabilize and engage target muscle groups and tendons such as the core and ankle tendons, and releases built up lactic acid that is often the cause of post-workout soreness.
Pre-workout, it is necessary to engage the hip flexors and hamstrings as they are what allow your body to achieve a full range of motion in the legs. The stretch band exercises below promise a dynamic warm up that will get the blood flowing and muscles ready for a workout!
Start with some standing leg swings for a dynamic and engaging warmup. Place the stretch band under the ball of your right foot. With your left hand gripping a sturdy wall or fence, plant your left foot firmly on the ground. Using your right hand, grip the stretch band and swing your right leg back and forth to build your leg’s range of motion. After 20 total kicks forward and backward, switch legs.
Another one of the best stretch band exercises is to lay on your back with your legs extended on the floor, and place the stretch band under the ball of your right foot. Keeping your left leg as straight as possible, grip the stretch band with both hands and gently elevate your right leg off of the floor. You should begin to feel a stretch in the right hamstring and hip flexor. After holding a good stretch in your right hamstring for approximately 20 seconds, switch legs. It is important to loosen up the hamstring before you workout to encourage full range of motion in the leg, which in turn leads to increased as well as more efficient range of motion in the legs.
Post-workout, it is likely that your calves will be tighter than when you started. This is due to the high volume of work carried out by your quads and calves during any activity, even if it is low-impact, such as lifting. The following stretch band exercises help your muscles to cool down and recover from the intense workout you just had.
While standing, place the stretch band under the ball of your right foot while keeping your left foot planted firmly on the ground. Grip the stretch band with both hands and gently pull the band toward your belly button, thus angling your foot toward your shin. You should feel a stretch in your right calf and Achilles tendon. After holding for 20 seconds, switch legs.
Stretch band exercises for your quads are some of the best stretches you can do as part of your cool down. Place the stretch band on the top of your right foot. Grasping the stretch band with just your right hand, pull upwards so that your elbow extends toward the sky, and your heel bends back toward your glute. Press the top of your foot into the stretch band to add some resistance to the stretch, which will allow you to feel a deeper pull in your muscles. Hold for 20 seconds, then switch legs.
Four dynamic, engaging stretches that will allow you to attack your next workout at full force. Spice up your next workout by incorporating these stretches before and after your exercise session; it is guaranteed that your body will reward you with healthier muscles and thank you for a calmer mind.