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How to stretch after lifting weights



Stretching after exercise is a good way to cool down and lower your heart rate. It can also help you improve your flexibility and mobility, so that you can do better and more engaging exercises. Try to incorporate a stretching routine when lifting weights to relax your muscles and prevent future injuries.

[[[[Edit]Step

[[[[Edit]Stretches your upper body and back

  1. Turn your head to the side to stretch your neck. Stand with your posture straight and your shoulders relaxed, gently turning your head to the right until your chin touches your right shoulder. Hold the distance for 1
    0 seconds and then turn your head to the other side. Repeat this on both sides 2 to 3 times.[1]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 1 version 2.jpg
    • This is a gentle stretch that does not put much pressure on the spine.
  2. Keep your arms behind your back to stretch your biceps. Extend your arms behind your back and braid your fingers. Keep your arms straight behind you and lift them up to the ceiling as high as they can go. Hold the distance for 20 to 30 seconds and then repeat 1 to 2 more times.[2]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 1.jpg
    • You may feel a slight pull in the biceps and shoulders.
  3. Pull your arm over your head to stretch your triceps. Begin the elbow and place your bent arm behind the neck starting. With your other hand, pull your elbow toward your head at the back to stretch your triceps. Hold the distance for 20 to 30 seconds and then repeat 1 to 2 more times. Then you can change arms.[3]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 2.jpg
    • Your triceps are the long muscles at the back of your arms. These do not get very stretched, so it is important to focus on them when you stretch.
  4. Stretch your wrists by pulling your hand back. Hold your right hand in front of you at chest height and use your left hand to grab the top of your right fingers. Keeping the right elbow straight, gently pull back on the right hand to feel a stretch in the wrist and forearm. Hold the distance for 10 seconds and then change hands.[4]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 4 version 2.jpg
    • When you lift weights, you keep a lot of tension in your wrist. It is important to stretch them afterwards to avoid injury.
  5. Pull your arm over your chest to stretch your shoulders. Keep your posture upright and pull one arm across your chest. Use your other arm to press your elbow against your chest and feel a slight pull on your shoulder. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and then repeat on the other arm.[5]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 3.jpg
    • Stretching the shoulders gives you a better range of motion when you exercise.
  6. Use a doorway to stretch the pectoral muscles. Stand in an open doorway and grasp one side of the door frame with your thumbs pointed upwards. Keep your hands around the hip level on the door frame, lean forward slowly without moving. Keep your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart to feel the stretch in your pecs and chest. Hold this for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat it 1 to 2 more times.[6]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 6 version 2.jpg
    • You also feel a slight stretch in the shoulders.
    • As soon as you feel the stretch in your chest, stop leaning forward and hold the position.
  7. Lean to stretch your sides. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and lift your arms above your head and clasp your hands. Slowly bend your body to the side and stop when you feel a stretch in the sides. Hold the distance for 20 to 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. Do this 1 to 2 more times on each side.[7]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 5.jpg
    • Your inclinations are the ab muscles on the side of your upper body. They engage when you use your core during whole body movements, such as deadlifting.
  8. Stretch your back with lumbar extensions. Walk on hands and knees with your back flat. Place your chin against your chest and round your back against the ceiling, feeling a stretch in your lower back and hips. Hold the rounded position for about 10 seconds and then return to your starting position. Repeat the section 1 to 2 more times.[8]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 6.jpg
    • This is also called the cat stretch.

[[[[Edit]Do lower body stretches

  1. Hold yourself against a wall to stretch your calves. Find a flat wall and stand away from it and then lean forward to rest your hands on the wall. Step one foot back behind you and press your heel against the floor and feel a stretch in your muscles at the bottom of your leg. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, repeat it 1 to 2 more times and then move to your other leg.[9]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 7.jpg
    • Although it can be tempting, do not bounce in place while holding the stretch. This can damage the muscles and cause serious injuries.
  2. Lie flat on your back to work your hamstrings. Lie flat with your legs outstretched in front of you on a yoga mat. Slowly lift one leg up toward the ceiling and grip your hamstring or the back of the thigh with your hands to lift it. Pull the leg towards the head, stop when you feel a distance and hold it for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat this 1 to 2 times and then move to your other leg.[10]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 8.jpg
    • Your hamstrings are the largest muscles in your legs, so it is important to stretch them well after you have trained.
    • Pull the leg very slowly and gently towards you to avoid straining or pulling a muscle.
  3. Stretch your quilts by laying on your side. Roll over to one side with arms and legs in a straight line on a yoga mat again. Hold one arm under your head for support and use the other to reach behind you and grab the outer leg. Pull the foot towards your back to feel a stretch on the front of the thigh. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat it 1 to 2 times on this side. When you have finished, scroll to the other side and repeat the distance.[11]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 9.jpg
    • You can also do this stretch when you stand up by reaching behind you and pulling your leg up in the same position. However, it can be difficult to balance on one leg, so you may need to hold on to a wall or chair for support.
  4. Make a butterfly stretch to stretch your groin. Sit flat on the ground with your legs in front of you. Slowly bring your feet towards your hips and let your knees fall outwards so that your legs get a diamond shape. Grasp the heels and pull the chest towards the ground and press the knees down with the elbows. Hold the distance for 20 to 30 seconds and then repeat it 1 to 2 times.[12]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 10.jpg
    • The butterfly stretch can be difficult if you have never done it before. Walk slowly to avoid pulling a muscle in the groin.
  5. Work the hip rotators by turning the upper body. Sit flat on the floor with your legs in front of you. Pick up your right leg and take it over your left leg, placing your right foot near the outside of your left knee. Press your left elbow into the outside of the knee and turn your upper body to the side. Hold the distance for 20 to 30 seconds and then repeat it 1 to 2 times before moving to the other side.[13]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 11.jpg
    • You also feel a stretch in the lower back.
  6. Extend your hip flexors in a low jump. Press your right foot in front of you at a 90 degree angle to the floor in a protrusion, keeping your left leg flat on the ground. Place your hands on your right thigh and slowly lean forward and push your hips forward. Hold the distance for 20 seconds, then repeat once to the right before changing to the left.[14]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 12.jpg
    • This is a great way to increase your mobility in the hip flexors and squats.

[[[[Edit]Stretching safe

  1. Keep your stretch in a static position without bouncing. While it can be tempting to bounce up and down to increase your stretch, the movement can actually tear your muscles. Try to keep your body in a static position as you stretch and breathe deeply to sink into it.[15]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 13.jpg
    • Stuffing is especially dangerous when stretching your hamstrings or calves, as these muscles are thin and can be easily stretched to a painful position.
  2. The goal is to feel tension, not pain as you stretch. If you reach a spot in your stretch that feels painful, back up slightly until you are not in pain. If your muscles actually injure while stretching, you can overstretch them, which can lead to serious injuries.[16]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 14.jpg
    • The best way to increase your flexibility is to stretch more often, not to stretch deeper or lower.
  3. Focus on the muscle groups you used during your weightlifting. Stretching the whole body is a good choice after training, but you should focus on the muscles you used the most. After weight lifting, it is especially important to stretch your arms and upper bodies and focus less on your legs and hips.[17]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 17.jpg
    • Stretching the whole body helps you increase your flexibility and mobility over time, which is why you should still throw in some stretches in muscle groups that you did not use.
  4. Try to stretch after each workout, or at least 2 to 3 times a week. For best results, add stretching to your cool routine after each workout. If you stretch 2 to 3 times a week, you will start to notice more flexibility and mobility within a few months.[18]
    Stretch after lifting weights Step 16.jpg
    • Stretching after exercise helps to lower the heart rate, making it a great way to cool off.

[[[[Edit]tip

  • Take time when you stretch so that you do not lengthen your muscles.[19]

[[[[Edit]warnings

  • If you feel pain or tearing in the muscles, stop stretching and let the muscles take a break.[20]

[[[[Edit]references

  1. https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/OP-153.15-Neck-exercises.pdf
  2. https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/wellness-mindfulstretchingguide.pdf
  3. https://hr.umich.edu/sites/default/files/mh-stretching-booklet.pdf
  4. https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files/5320Pwrist.pdf
  5. https://hr.umich.edu/sites/default/files/mh-stretching-booklet.pdf
  6. https://hr.umich.edu/sites/default/files/mh-stretching-booklet.pdf
  7. https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/wellness-mindfulstretchingguide.pdf
  8. https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/wellness-mindfulstretchingguide.pdf
  9. https://hr.umich.edu/sites/default/files/mh-stretching-booklet.pdf
  10. https://hr.umich.edu/sites/default/files/mh-stretching-booklet.pdf
  11. https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/wellness-mindfulstretchingguide.pdf
  12. https://hr.umich.edu/sites/default/files/mh-stretching-booklet.pdf
  13. https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/wellness-mindfulstretchingguide.pdf
  14. https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/wellness-mindfulstretchingguide.pdf
  15. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931
  16. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931
  17. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/stretch-before-exercising/
  18. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/stretch-before-exercising/
  19. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/stretch-before-exercising/
  20. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931

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