Many of us are aware of the benefits of stretching to prevent injuries, reduce soreness, and boost muscle recovery, but we rarely think of stretching as a method to boost strength.
How does stretching improve strength?
Doing any of the six stretches below before and after your strength training workouts will help you improve blood circulation and flexibility, which will further relax your muscles, allowing you to increase muscle activity during your workout. In other words, more stretching equals better workout performance and faster results.
Try these six stretches and let us know which is your favourite:
Neck Twist Sit or stand up straight with your head facing forward. While holding your body still, place your right hand on your left cheek and twist your head to the right so that your chin nearly touches your shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
2. Hip Bridge
Lie on your back and bend your knees to 90 degrees. Hold your feet and shoulders firmly on the ground with heels under your butt. Lift your hips to the sky, squeezing your glutes for 10 seconds.
3. Groin Stretch
Form a sumo squat position while placing both elbows between your knees. Fold your hands together and attempt to straighten your elbows as far as you can.
4. Superman Stretch
Lie flat on the ground with your stomach facing the floor. Hold your head up, spread both arms and legs, raising them up to reach the height of your head. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.
5. Side Bends
Stand up straight with your legs shoulder-width apart. Raise both hands above your head and slowly bend it to the left. Hold for 10 seconds and then repeat on the right side.
6. Crossover Arm Swings
Stand up straight with your legs shoulder-width apart. Stretch both arms widely out to the sides and then cross them in front of your chest. Do 10 front swings and 10 backswings.