They say, “No pain, no gain.” But does that mean you should be sore or tight after working out?
While it’s inevitable for your muscles to ache a bit after a few intense sessions, there are some preventative measures you can take to ease this. Doing exercises for flexibility before and after a workout provides great improvement in this area and allows you to go deeper in your exercises!
So, let’s look to even further delay DOMS — or delayed onset muscle soreness — with some great static and dynamic stretches that’ll leave you feeling amazing.
Dynamic Exercises for Mobility
Dynamic exercises are those that involve joint movement. The movement allows you to feel the stretch without making you injury-prone during a workout.
Do these exercises before your workout, and make sure to go to your full ROM — or range of motion.
1. Body Squat
With your feet a little wider than shoulders and facing forward, sit back into a chair position with a flat, angled back. Do this twenty times, or for thirty seconds.
Option: hold a light dumbbell between both hands as you do so, keeping elbows locked.
Get in a tabletop position, on your hands and knees on a mat.
“Cat” is when you curl your back, peeling your shoulder blades away from each other while firmly pushing away from the ground with straight arms.
Dip your belly while raising your head and tailbone for “Cow.” Do these exercises back-to-back for thirty seconds. This exercise is great for warming up the thoracic spine.
Step forward into a lunge. With the back leg, slowly lower and touch the ground with your knee. Repeat on the other side. Do this at least ten times each side.
This exercise is especially great for runners.
Static Exercises for Flexibility
These static exercises are great for cooling down after a session and require little to no movement.
4. Banded Hamstring
Lay down flat on your back. Use a long band to wrap your foot and hold with your hands. With a straight leg, pull the band back until you reach that point between effort and ease.
Keep a slight bend in the knee to avoid pain or injury. Repeat 2-3 times on both sides for about 30 seconds each.
5. Pigeon Pose
While on the ground, allow one leg to lie straight behind you while the other is in front of you at a 45-degree angle.
If you can keep your front leg parallel to a mat, this allows for a deeper stretch. However, your heel can come back towards your body for a less intense option.
Lean your body over your front leg and feel your hips sing!
6. Forward Fold
Fold your body in half over your legs. Keep a slight bend in the knees to avoid pulling a muscle. Grab opposite elbows and lightly swing back and forth.
This is a great stretch for those with back pain.
If you begin incorporating these exercises for flexibility into your routine, it won’t be long before you see results.
You don’t have to do an hour-long yoga class to get more flexible and mobile (although that helps, too!). Picking a handful of stretches and doing them for a few minutes before each workout is enough to make a difference.
Don’t take our word for it. Try it yourself!
Take your stretching one step further by letting a professional help. See here how assisted stretching can genuinely benefit your life!