Stretching: The Crucial Thing Missing Your WorkoutMay 11, 2021
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So you know to prioritize both cardio and strengthening, fit in a walk or yoga flow even when you don’t have time for a full workout, and eat nutritious food to help your body feel its best while exercising. But the one crucial part of a healthy fitness routine you might be neglecting? Stretching. Stretching is not just an excuse to nap in Savasana for five minutes or for impressing your friends by doing splits during a night out (looking at you, Kyle Richards).
Stretching keeps the body flexible, strong, and healthy. When your muscles are flexible, they’re able to maintain a range of motion to prevent injuries and improve both endurance and strength. In other words, a flexible body is a healthy body. Yes, we need to stretch to accompany our workouts, but we also need to stretch to relieve tension, counteract the effects of sitting all day, and improve the overall health of the body.
You don’t need to dedicate an hour a day or change your entire routine to stretch more. To prove it, we rounded up a list of obé Fitness stretching classes that range from a quick five-minute flow to a 30-minute sculpt workout that fits in the stretching for you. Whether you prefer to give your muscles some extra love during your morning routine, night routine, before a workout, after a workout, or throughout your workday, there’s an obé class for you. Scroll on to find the stretching sequence that appeals to you—your muscles can thank me later.
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If you’re on your lunch break or taking a quick 10-minute break, this is the stretch for you. It’s meant to not only stretch out your entire body from head to toe but is also meant to energize you. Think of this stretch series as your 3 p.m. coffee alternative. Trust me, you won’t need a shot of espresso when you use this to treat your afternoon slump.
Warmup for runners
PSA to runners, joggers, and cardio-lovers: You need to be stretching. Not only is stretching before and after cardio workouts crucial in preventing injuries, but properly preparing your muscles can also help improve endurance and speed. Try this stretching warmup, whether you’re about to hit the treadmill or sprint on a track.
Calming morning flow
If mornings are your sacred time to prepare your mind and body for the day ahead, I got you. For those of us who prefer to wake up slowly and peacefully instead of rush right into a workout first thing in the morning, this flow will help center you and energize you after waking up while also providing you with calm energy to take on your day.
Hips and hamstring stretch
Picture this: You crushed a killer leg day yesterday and now it’s painful to walk. Or maybe you keep a lot of tension in your hips (guilty!), and your hamstrings and glutes are always tight. Look no further than this lower-body stretch, designed to gently open up your hips and stretch out the hamstrings.
Neck and upper back stretch
I get a lot of tension headaches, and after my doctor suggested the tension was coming from my neck, shoulders, and upper back, I started doing this five-minute neck and upper back stretch every day. Spoiler alert: My tension headaches went away. This is also good for tech neck (also guilty) or people who sit at a desk all day (AKA most of us).
If you’re a seasoned stretcher who wants something that goes a little deeper than your normal body stretches (but without paying for fancy equipment you most likely won’t use), good news. All you need to get deeper and stretch every muscle group in the body is a chair. Grab the one from your office or a dining chair from the kitchen and give your muscles a little TLC.
Cool down stretch
By now, you know you need a dynamic stretch at the beginning of your workout to warm up, but it’s just as important to do a cool down stretch to help release and stretch out the muscles that just put in a lot of hard work. Whether you prefer jogging, barre, or yoga, try this cool down stretch after your workout of choice to prevent soreness and lengthen muscles.
If you swear you don’t even have five minutes to spare during your busiest days, you can still fit in a good stretch to help your body feel its best. All of these stretches can be done at your desk. That’s right, you can get a full-body stretch in while sitting in your chair. Try these movements while transitioning between tasks at your desk or even while you’re in a Zoom meeting (but insider tip: turn your camera off).
Stretch and sculpt class
If you prefer stretching to be seamlessly incorporated into your workout or you only have 30 minutes a day to dedicate to your body, try this combo stretch and sculpt class. You’ll be toning and strengthening all the important muscle groups, and then stretching out what you just worked for lengthened muscles and a healthier body.
Full body stretch
Got 10 minutes to spare but don’t know where to start? This full body stretch goes through all the best basics to relieve tension and stretch out every muscle group in the body. Whether you’re wrapping up a workout, taking a lunch break, or just want to move your body for an extra 10 minutes throughout the day, give your entire body some TLC with these stretches.
Certain stretches are the perfect way to wake up and energize the body, but other stretches can work to relax the body for your most peaceful night of sleep ever. These stretches improve your mobility and flexibility like other stretches, but the sequence is also designed to release tension from the body and leave you in a blissed out state by the end. Pro tip: Do these stretches in your PJs because you’re going to want to hop right into bed when you’re done.
Wine and unwind stretch
If I haven’t convinced you to stretch more yet, this will probably do it. Whether you just wrapped up a tough workday or you would never miss a happy hour, kill two birds with one stone by having your glass of wine while stretching the body.
Sure, this is just a regular series of amazing stretches you can do without wine at any time of day (or with any beverage of choice), but I like this idea of fitting in whatever feels best for you. It’s a good reminder that you don’t have to be on a yoga mat, have on your workout clothes, or be at the optimal time to get a stretch in. You can stretch whenever, wherever, and however feels best for you, so fit it in where you can and make it as enjoyable as possible (yes, even if that means with a glass of Pinot Noir).
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This post is sponsored by obé, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.