My favourite three stretching routines for athletes (all levels)

woman wearing black sports bra
Fit woman stretching her triceps.

Stretching for rehabilitation

Along your fitness journey, you will encounter the dreaded stiff joints and soreness that accompanies high levels of muscle exertion. If you push yourself hard enough, you will discover that recovery starts to signal its way to your body. This can be the result of weight-lifting, marathon-training or any type of physical activity performed at a high level and on a regular basis.

More benefits of stretching

The benefits of stretching extend themselves to improved self-confidence, body awareness and recovery between workouts. These stretches can also be used to cool-down and warm-up, the only recommendation I have for these videos is to breath through the poses, so if you are holding a pose for 20 seconds, I would aim to make space for three breaths per pose. That equates to a breath in and out for the count of three on the way in and on the way out.

Deep-belly breathing to enhance stretching benefits

Breathing while stretching allows the athlete or fitness-buff to also improve internal awareness that can extend to a better squat, deadlift and bench press. It also lends itself to better focus and mind-muscle activation.

While some people may not need a deep-belly breathing practice, for those of you who may struggle with superficial breathing/anxiety while training or would like to start having a stress-free/in-your-body type workout, check this deep-belly breathing routine out.

Below are three of my stretch routines that I created for different goals/muscle parts. They each cater to a different type of goal and function, they are easy to perform and do not require any prior experience.

Without further ado, here are my top three stretch routines:

  1. Easy to follow legs/glutes stretch: this routine is best used as a warm up for weigh-training or to improve flexibility
This stretching routine is ideal to perform before leg days/lower body workouts, it mainly targets the hamstrings, quads, glutes and lower back.

2) Full-body stretch routine: this routine is best suited for athletes who engage in high-levels of training (ie: HIIT/full-body weight-lifting)

This is a full-body stretch routine, it covers every muscle group and is best suited for athletes and/or weightlifters.

3) Daily mobility practice: this short/quick routine is intended to be a feel-good stretch (it is also spine-friendly and best suited for beginners)

This stretching routine targets the lower body, hips and abs. It is best suited for beginners who do not have any experience with yoga or stretching and want to start a daily practice.

The benefits of stretching are numerous, mainly it allows the athlete or yogi to have me-time. With all the work that goes into lifting weights or running, a breathing practice allows you to center yourself.

Stretching and Mindfulness is part of the fitness journey

I go into details about some of the top athletic mindsets here. Also in the post is a mention of how professional athletes are encouraged by their coaches to utilize a mindfulness-based practice in order to stay focussed during their performance.

If your goal is simply to relax, incorporating a daily stretching practice can make space for you to adopt and reach flexibility-related goals and can perhaps encourage you to join a yoga-community.

I hope that you enjoyed this post,

Namaste

Let me know what you thought of these stretches by writing your comments below.

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