Before a workout or any exercise regime, whether you are a runner or bodybuilder, it’s highly beneficial to your body to perform the correct stretches! The benefits of stretching properly are plentiful; from improved joint mobility to better circulation and increased flexibility stretching is also excellent for your body, not to mention it helps to lessen the chances of injury. Lets start by looking at the best stretches to do before your workout…

The push up
Your hands should be underneath your shoulders (just more than shoulder width apart). Your back and hips flat, core and abs engaged. Push up and lower yourself down in a controlled motion.

Star jumps
Great for the whole body! Start in a standing upright position and jump landing in a position with your legs wide apart and your arms outwards and repeat several times.

Hamstring stretch
Especially useful if you are a runner, stand upright with your feet together and bend over trying to touch your toes without bending at the knee. Hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds and then shake it out and repeat.

Butterfly groin stretch
Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet touching one another. Press your elbows down on your thigh just below your knee in an effort to increase the stretch. The closer you put your feet to your body, the more intense the stretch will be. Hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds and then shake it out and repeat.

After your workout
Static stretching is a great way to help your body and muscles recover after a workout. Static stretching will also help to combat the nasty muscle soreness that occurs a few days after the initial workout, not to mention it will help promote better posture and increased flexibility. Post workout stretching can also help to prevent long-term injuries. Below are some great stretches to perform after your workout to cover all body parts.

Static shoulder stretch
Bring one arm across your chest in a straight position and hold it static by the elbow so you feel the stretch in your shoulder. Hold this for about 20-30 seconds and repeat with the other arm.

Hamstring stretch
Sitting down on the floor with your legs spread apart in a V-shape. Reach for your right foot and try drawing your chest down to meet your right leg. Hold for about 30 seconds then repeat with the other leg.

Quads stretch
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, at the knee bend your leg behind and press it against your hamstring, hold it there for about 30 seconds then repeat on the other leg.

Lat/ back stretch
Lie flat on the floor on your stomach, Put your hands out in front of you and push down on the floor while you arch your back to stretch it out. Hold it there for about 30 seconds.

If you haven’t been stretching before and after the workouts you do, now is the time to give them a go.

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