Bodies by Design Fitness Tips
Melissa walks you through three important stretches for your lower body muscles – the hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes.
Stretching is an important part of fitness that is often neglected. Deep stretches should always be performed AFTER your workout to reduce injury, reduce muscle soreness and restore length to your muscles, which can get tight with weight lifting. Stretches, which can be done daily, should be held for about 20 seconds and you should NEVER bounce during each pose. It’s important to note that a stretch should feel like a mild discomfort – you shouldn’t feel pain. The first stretch is for the hip flexors, the muscles at the top of your thigh that connect to your pelvis. For this pose, get down on one knee and place your front foot forward lining it up directly under the knee. Then, hinge forward at the hip and place your hands on your thighs. Switch legs and repeat. This is an important stretch, particularly for runners. The next stretch is for your hamstrings, the large muscle group on the back of your legs. For this move, elevate one leg onto a sturdy object, such as a bench or chair. Keeping you back straight, lean forward by bending at the hips until you feel the pull. Hold for 20 seconds. The final stretch is for your glutes (bum). Cross one leg and place your ankle onto you other leg’s knee, then bend your planted leg and lower yourself to the ground. You’ll probably need to hold onto something for support as this requires some balance.