Stretching before a workout is important, but stretching after a workout is essential. Post-workout stretches bring your heart rate back to a normal level, calm your breath, and help to minimize your risk of injury and soreness later in the day. To get started, learn about these 15 important post-workout stretches and utilize them today!
1. The Cat Stretch
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The Cat Stretch is essential after your workouts due to its relaxing and invigorating effects! Simply place your knees and hands on the ground, as though in an assisted push-up position, and breathe in deeply while arching your back. As you arch your back gently inhale, and bring your head downwards towards your chest. Bring your head upwards towards the sky as you exhale, and gently push your abdomen towards the floor. Repeat for five reps to feel relaxed, limber, and totally recharged!
2. The Seated Neck Stretch
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This stretch is ideal for lowering your heart rate to a resting level while also relaxing your spine. While sitting in a cross-legged position with your back straightened and hands on your head, gently pull your head downwards while exhaling. Try to have your chin touch your neck, and then inhale as you slowly raise your head upwards. Make sure to not pull on your neck or head too hard, and remember to keep your movements controlled and relaxed.
This stretch will ease your neck, loosen your shoulders, and make you sigh in relief! Place your left hand behind your back with your elbow sticking out, like a chicken wing, and then grab your wrist with your right hand. Gently lean your neck towards your left shoulder, and move it gently up and down while steadily breathing. Do this for about 30 seconds and then switch sides.
4. Hip Bridge
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This stretch can also be a perfect warm-up, and it will provide you with heightened hip mobility. Lay on your back in a crunch or curl-up position, and have your feet close to your butt. Raise your hips towards the ceiling so that your hamstrings form a straight line with your back, and keep your head resting on the ground. Hold for a few seconds and then carefully come back to the resting position. Repeat five times to feel the benefits!
5. Child’s Pose
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The child’s pose is a staple in yoga routines, and it is also an ideal post-workout stretch. Sit on your knees and reach your arms high towards the ceiling. Inhale and then slowly exhale as you bring your arms and body towards the ground. Your hands and arms should be resting on the ground along with your knees, and you can relax in the pose for a few moments if you’d like. This pose will help to ease any tension in your back while also calming your breath after a heavy workout.