My Top 3 Stretches

Working in a gym, I see a lot of people stretch every day, and some that never stretch. I'll give you my 3 favourite stretches and explain why. Firstly, should you stretch before or after training? I would say both, but it’s a little bit different. Some studies say that to perform on maximum level you should avoid doing static stretching before training and instead do dynamic stretches. * static stretch is when the person stretches the muscle until a gentle tension is felt and then holding this position for 30-60s * Dynamic stretch is when you move around more and never hold still in a specific position. For example, a lunge with a twist is a dynamic stretch that involve your legs, hips and core. 1: One of my favourite dynamic stretches to do before training is the 'Cossack squat' They are a great exercise for mobility and flexibility that will help for any lower body workout. If you have never done these before, start with no weight and focus on form and keeping your leg straight. Most people won't be able to go all the way down to start with so that needs progression. When that feels good then you can start holding a light kettle bell on your chest and make it harder from there. ma3 2: Shoulder stretch with band This one I would do more after a session to stretch my shoulders/chest a bit after getting them tight from the workout. The benefits with the band is that you can twist and turn in so many directions to find tension and get the resistance you need. See pictures below for some inspiration. ma1   ma2 3: Classic couch stretch This one is great for your hip flexor. I like to start with a strict couch stretch where I start close to the wall and push my hip forward. ma4 After that I'll take a big step forward and push my hip down to the floor. If you can try to get your forearms to touch the floor as well, if you can't then just reach as far down as you can to get more stretch. If you easily get some back pain because your muscles get tight, this stretch will probably help you a lot. MA5 Your hip flexor is connected to the muscles in your back, so if they are tight it will pull in your lower back as well. Try them out and let me know if you need any help to find the right stretch for you!     By: Mia Akerlund, InnerFight Performance Coach