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Why do we stretch?

Stretching is the first thing one does before any kind of exercise. One of the reasons it is necessary to stretch out before working out is to get ready for the main exercise, prevent a muscle pull or ligament tear. There are different stretching exercises that each in turn help warm up a different muscle group. Even if a person is injured and unable to exercise for the duration of the injury, stretching is still not a problem, and is, in fact, still a good idea despite the injury because it keeps the muscles in stretched, especially in the injured bits.

In order to learn how to stretch all the muscle groups properly one may take a look at an illustrated program, or consult a trainer at a gym.

After one has just started stretching, there may be some soreness until it becomes a daily routine.

Stretching may be a good idea even if a person doesn't have enough time for the consequential exercise of choice. Stretching will enhance agility, overall strength and flexibility as it stimulates the muscle growth.

It does just as good as a stand-alone exercise as much as it does incorporated into a training program.

Illustrated Stretching Exercises

As noted previously, stretching is a critical first step of any exercise routine because it stimulates muscle growth and loosens them up, while getting them ready for the main exercise. Also, because muscles have a tendency of tightening up if they're not stretched properly, not to mention that stretching does its share of mood boosting, as well.

The following list is an illustration of the most essential stretching exercises:

  • The Neck is the first and simplest stretching exercise on the list. The shoulders are to be held straight and facing forward. The neck then moves to the left, and then to the right, look up, and then down, followed by a clockwise and then an anti-clockwise rotation. It is important to note not to overdo this exercise.

  • The Biceps are stretched in a sitting position, feet flat on the ground, knees bend. The hands are then to extend behind the back so that the fingers are pointing away – followed by a stretching of the hands as much as possible.

  • The Triceps: the arms are to be lifted into the air and elbows bent so that they can reach the back. The right elbow is then to touch the left hand as the right hand extends towards the center of the back.

  • The Shoulders exercise is the second simplest: the arms are to be rotated through the shoulder sockets, clockwise, then alternately counter-clockwise.

  • The Lower Back and Abdomen exercise is performed lying down on one's stomach, hands touching the floor so that the arms are in a shape that resembles a diamond. A lifting is then performed by means of straightening one's hands. It is to be repeated 4 to 5 times. This type of exercise also helps mend the pain of chronic back pain.

  • The Upper Back's stretching is performed "on all fours." The hands are flat on the floor, face facing down, and the hips are then to be stretched towards the feet.

In the end, it is noteworthy to say that consulting one's physician is in order before even starting any of these exercises, just to make sure that none of the previously mentioned is harmful to any possible conditions the person may be suffering. 

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