Fitness

Incorporate Stretching Into Your Routine

Stretching |I Fucking Love Fitness

Old pic because I don’t have time to take selfies at the gym for this blog anymore but I’m still stretching my hip flexors like crazy. I wish they would just loosen up!!

You should be treating your body like a temple and one way to do it is to take care of it and let it recover properly…

…whether it be eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep or to incorporate stretching into your routine. A problem I have is not having enough finding time to stretch, which I think is so important for my body so that it can relieve all the tensions in my muscles that are causing so much discomfort in my body. Plus it’s feels SO good. I don’t understand why people don’t stretch!

If you are very active, you may suffer from a lot of annoying pain and muscular imbalances.

I have really tight IT bands, hip flexors and calves (in fact, all muscles in my legs constantly seem to be tight), my VMO is constantly sore, I have flat feet and all of this causes my knees to occasionally hurt which really interferes with my cycling. My back also gets tired really easily and my shoulders and rotator cuffs are constantly tense (and having a desk job does not help). This is from a combination of a lot of workout, too much cycling and having to sit at my desk for hours at a time.

Lately work has been exhausting, despite working in front of a computer. Although, I’m still finding time to escape to the gym (whoever says they are too busy is just plain lazy), having to sit for such a long period of time makes me feel like my body is slowly dying. Especially when my muscles are already filled with so much tension due to my love for fitness! Luckily, I find many ways to incorporate stretching into your routine:

  • Instead of resting in between sets at the gym, foam roll and do mobility exercises. Only do static stretches when your muscles are warmed up.
  • ALWAYS stretch and roll out those tight muscles after a workout. I aim for at least 20 minutes and I consider that my “yoga.”
  • Stretch and foam roll while watching TV. I “force” myself to watch an hour or so or TV on some days only so I can lie there on my yoga mat, stretch and foam roll. It is really the only time I have to “relax” and do this because I’m usually up and about or sitting in front of my computer.
  • Golf balls are sooo awesome. I keep them everywhere (even in my purse) just in case I want to lie or sit on one to really target a trigger point. Seriously everyone… GOLF BALLS. You will not regret it.
  • Stretch while sitting at your desk and working (videos after the jump). Yes, people walk by and give me weird looks but I really don’t care!

Some of my favorite “desk stretches”:

One on my favorites for your back, hips and glutes:

At 1:18, there is a great sitting stretch for your ITB that she called the “Pretzel Twist”. I modify it by pulling my knee right up to my chest and wrapping my arms around it to hold it in place to get that extreme stretch otherwise I don’t feel it at all:

I throw a pillow on the ground for my knees and do this in front of my computer :

And you can also elevate or grab your leg with one hand for an awesome quad stretch (this one is way better than the standing quad stretch that everyone does):

Some neck and arm stretches:

For your wrists:

And another bonus set of desk stretches:

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