Hi all. Wish you a very happy and healthy new year.
By now, I hope you all have been following a good cool down routine instead of skipping it just to save 3-5 minutes! If not, the new year is the right time to start!
Usually, the stretches during the warm up phase (note: after an initial cardio warm up) are quite dynamic and must focus on the active part that will be used in the following main workout.
The ones after a workout, for cool down purpose are usually slow and done by holding the stretch for more than 20-30 seconds, and again focus on the active body parts used during the main workout routine.
Here is a general checklist of all the stretches that must be included in your warm up routine –
o Shoulder and neck – neck tilts, shoulder rotations, elevations etc.
o Upper back Stretches – full arm rotations, reaching out moves etc.
o Hamstring Stretches (Focuses on the back of the legs) – Forward bends, high kicks etc.
o Quadriceps Stretches (Focuses on the front part of the leg) – standing leg curls etc.
o Calf Stretches – (Back part of the lower part of the leg) – heel touch etc.
o Lower back Stretches – Forward bends – full and half, criss-cross forward bends etc.
o And many other muscles like – anterior tibialis (front part of the lower leg) as in toe touches, hip flexors as in back taps, Gluteus as in knee-ups and kicks.
Ask your trainer for the right technique and lots of variety in each stretch!
Perform each dynamic action 8-10 times for better effect.
Remember not to hold the stretches for a period of time since it has a relaxing effect and hence lowers the heart rate which was elevated through the warm-up. Since the core workout routine follows the warm up, lowering of the heart rate is not desirable for a better workout.