Did you know the heat and humidity of summertime protect you from injury? Heat warms your muscles quickly, which means they’re more likely to work correctly and less likely to get injured. Humidity helps maintain the elasticity of your muscles, allowing them to rebound after strenuous work. This means that you can often forget to do your post-cardio stretching and suffer only minor consequences.
The seasons change, though, and summertime is over. Gone are the carefree days of forgetting to stretch. Instead, we have cold, dry winds that suck our moisture and leave us shivering.
That’s why now is a great time to reincorporate stretching back into your routine. After you finish your cardio, take a moment to stretch your muscles.
Now might seem like a great time to hold a stretch for a long time. This is incorrect. By holding a deep stretch right now, it’s more likely that you will over-stretch and hurt yourself. Make sure to only hold these stretches for 5-8 breaths.
Here are some stretches that are great post-cardio:
- Quadriceps stretch. You can be standing, kneeling, or on your stomach. While keeping your knees level with each other, simply bring your heel toward your bottom.
- Calf stretch. I prefer to stand for my calf stretch. Make sure your feet are inner hip-width apart. Put a bend in your knees, and send one foot back. Connect the whole foot to the floor, and keep the back leg’s knee straight.
- Dandasana. Feel your SITs bones press down into the ground to help you feel the lift through your spine.
- Janushirsasana. Fold the length of your spine over one leg at a time.
- Paschimottanasana. Now, fold over both legs.
- Upavista konasana. Fold forward in a straddle. You can reach over to one side at a time.
- Baddha konasana. Stretch your inner thighs.
- Cobra pose. Extend your spine and get a good stretch for your anterior muscles.
- Spinal rotation. Spinal rotation helps reset your central nervous system.
Post-Cardio Stretching Video
Here is a video for visual learners.
What stretches are you favorites? Let us know in the comments below.
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