Working out is great for us in more ways than just helping our physical fitness. Working out helps us to reduce stress and anxiety, and helps to alleviate pain from previous injuries and prevent future injuries. While working out can be difficult to start, once you get used to your new routine, your mind, body, and soul will all be thanking you.
However, if you aren’t properly warming up and cooling down, you are at an increased risk for injury.
Here at Albany Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, we believe stretching is a major part of staying healthy and preventing injury. If you are starting a new workout routine and constantly feel sore or in pain, try out the stretches below.
3 PT-Approved Stretches for After a Workout to Avoid Injury:
1. Shoulder stretch
Shoulders are critical when working out but if you have poor posture or form, your shoulders take the brunt of the pain. We recommend doing shoulder stretches after any workout.Take one arm at a time, pull it across your chest, and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Hold and repeat with the other arm.
2. Butterfly stretch
Another important stretch to do after a workout is the butterfly stretch. This stretch works to loosen the muscles in your groin area so you don’t feel tightness in your hips or lower back. To do this stretch, sit on the floor with your knees bent and the soles of your feet touching. Hold your feet or ankles and lean forward into the stretch. Make sure to keep your back straight during the stretch.
3. Cat stretch
This stretch is great to work your abs and back muscles in one fluid movement and is especially useful if you focus on your abs a lot or if you have issues with your back. For this stretch, get on all fours. Keep your spine relaxed and breathe in as you round your spine upward to the sky and tuck your chin to your chest. On your exhale, uncurve your spine and pull your chin away from your chest.
Keeping your muscles happy and healthy is important to a successful exercise routine. Making an effort to stretch properly after every workout and perform a cool down will help protect your muscles and make your movement more meaningful.
This article was written with information from US National Library of Medicine and ATI Physical Therapy.