Photo Courtesy of m-gucci / Getty Images
By Joshua Condon
Stretching hurts. It’s time-consuming. It’s dull. Recent studies knock it, so perhaps stretching isn’t necessary? Oh yes it is. Do as pro athletes do, and work in the following moves to stay fit, flexible, and injury-free.
Add these four stretches to the end of your workouts. Slowly flow between poses, holding each for a few seconds, then repeat the cycle. When you’re crunched for time, or want to add a pose, use the all-in-one stretch.
With your left calf on a handrail, legs and back straight, slowly stick out your butt. Feel the stretch all the way down your left thigh, as well as behind the knee. Switch and repeat.
With left knee fully bent, place your left foot behind you on the handrail. Lower your body until you feel a strong stretch in the left thigh and front hip. Switch legs and repeat.
External Hip Rotators
Bend your left knee and rotate the hip across your body, placing your left foot on the handrail (a chair is easier). Stick out your butt and stretch the glutes.
Place the balls of your feet on the edge of a treadmill or raised platform, allowing your heels to hang off the back. Holding the handrails, press your heels to the floor.
The All-in-One Stretch
This all-body stretch is good for loosening up at the end of the day or when you just don’t have time for more. Lunge forward with your right leg, extend your left leg behind you, and lean forward to stretch the hip flexors of the rear leg. Then square your hips and tilt your pelvis back, abs in, to stretch the front of that hip. Finally, raise your arms overhead to stretch your upper torso and abs. If you can, also bend your left knee to stretch the quads. Switch legs and repeat.
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