Top 10 Stretches (Personal Trainer EarthFIT)
There are so many stretches to choose from when it comes to an after-workout cool down. We use this type of stretching at EarthFIT right after our group personal training sessions. They really are the best and most powerful stretches that you can do with relative ease for maximal effect. It also targets the muscle groups that tend to be tighter on most. So these stretches will benefit the general population.
A few things to remember with stretching:
- Do static stretching (holding the stretch for longer than 12 seconds)only after you have warmed up. Stretching on cold muscles has no effect; some research has shown that it can have a negative effect, causing relaxation of the muscle, which is the last thing you want to do before a work out.
- Do dynamic stretching (an example would be butt kicks while jogging) as part of your warm up. Or you can actually use some light kettle bell movements as a great warm up.
- Stretching should be slightly uncomfortable
- The info below is meant for static stretching after a work out like our group personal training sessions.
- Stretching is just like working out to get the benefit it has to be done a few times a week with reps and sets to see progressive results
Hey, what’s going on, this is Ian Hart here, and today I am going to go over with you the top 10 stretches. Actually, there are a few more, but I’m going to go through each one and try to describe how to do it as you watch the video, and explain what the benefit is of each stretch.
1) So the first one is a hip flexor stretch and it’s going to be right foot forwardor back (is this left foot back?) and you can do it vice versa, the knees on the ground. You’re keeping your abs tight and you’re pushing your hips forward. And don’t arch your back too much, and you want to feel a stretch in your hips. So you’re pushing your hips forward to feel the hip flexors. Then a more advanced approach is to reach back and to grab your foot. And this will also stretch the specific muscle that crosses the hips and the knee, as well as your quads and your hip flexors. So this is a very, really beneficial stretch and it actually is one of the only stretches that can get certain muscles in your legs. Then from here, when you pull back, you want to just feel a good stretch. The stretch should be slightly uncomfortable, and that goes for all of the stretches that you see here. And this is similar to what we do after our training sessions at EarthFIT. So that’s stretch number one; the kneeling hip flexor stretch.
2) What I want you to do is grab a belt or a rope. And you’re going to keep your knees completely locked; you’re pulling one leg back, straight, and doing a hamstring stretch. You want to hold each stretch too, for about 20 seconds. I’m showing you a faster version in the video, so just keep that in mind.
3) And then you’re going to drop your leg to the right. Don’t let it hit the ground, still keeping your knee locked and stretching the inner thigh. From there, you hold that a minimum of 10 seconds, but 20 seconds is best;
4) Cross to the other side. And this will help with your hip again, another hip stretcher, but this is going to be the outside and it stretches your IT band, it goes across the hip and down the side of your leg. So from your hip to your knee you might feel it. This stretch will get sometimes down below the knee.
So this is stretch number two, three and four. So you have hamstring, inner thigh, which is adductors, and the abductors which is outer thigh.
5) The next one we have is a glute stretch. Cross your left leg over your right knee, pull your knee into your chest, and just feel your gluteus maximus in your butt stretching.
6) Then we have what we call the Chrysalis stretch. It’s like the butterfly’s formation, but you’re pulling your forehead towards your toes and you’re looking for a stretch in your lower back. A lot of people who have tight adductors, or tight inner thigh muscles, will feel a stretch there. If you do feel a stretch in your inner thigh, go ahead and push your feet forward, grab your toes again, and then pull yourself forward. Again, you want to hold for a minimum of 15 seconds roughly.
7) The Sit and Reach stretch. What I want you to do is keep your knees completely locked and your ankles as close together as possible (so legs together from thighs to feet). And then you’re going to reach for your toes, again keeping your knees completely locked – very important. You’re going to feel a stretch in your hamstrings, possibly in your calves. But eventually, if not now, in the future, we want you to feel your lower back stretching. Another important detail is you’re dropping your head towards your knees so you feel your whole spine lengthen. Don’t bounce. So literally, if you do this properly, you can feel it all the way from your feet to the top of your head. But we want to focus on the back as well, and just hold that for 20 seconds.
8) From there, we’re going to do the Child’s Pose. You’re kneeling, sitting back on your heels. You’re going to: (a) crawl as far forward as you can first; (b) crawl to the right and gently push your body to the left; and (c) then go to the other side. This one, you’re feeling a lat stretch along the side of your body. And you might feel all the way down to your hip.
9) Stretch number nine is going to be a quad stretch again – Standing Quad Stretch. Balance on one foot – if you need to, go ahead and hold on to something. Pull back, keeping your abs tight again and hold.
10) Finally, we have an Arm stretch. If you need to, make sure that you’re grabbing the strap that we used in stretches 2, 3 and 4 as tight as possible. And then open up your chest: take a deep breath in, so you really feel a good stretch into your breath, and you feel it down your arms as well.
Bonus stretch: a neck stretch to the side. Make sure you’re standing up nice and straight. And after that you can do a nice neck rotation to both sides just to loosen up all the muscles around the neck.
So, there you have it. This is Ian Hart at the EarthFIT Training Blog, and we’re in Beaufort (SC). We’re personal trainers in Beaufort. So if you have any comments or questions on the stretches, these are some stretches that I find the most beneficial right after training. They are great for a cool down. And then it helps with the recovery of the whole training process. So there you have it. This is Ian Hart at beaufortpersonaltraining.com, and earthfittraining.com. Go ahead and leave a comment and I will happily answer you. Thanks, bye!
Ian Hart is a Body-Mind Transformation expert, the creator of EarthFIT Training Systems, co-creator of BACK PAIN RELIEF4LIFE, and founder of BEAUFORTPERSONALTRAINING.COM and MYBACKPAINCOACH.COM. Ian and his team help people get into optimal shape in the safest, fastest and most effective way possible, using cutting edge science.