Warm up: Stretching
It is very important to do stretching exercises before getting into the rigorous exercise to warm the body up, release muscle tension and increase the blood flow around the body. Stretching also helps elongate the muscles and make them leaner. Stretching before any work out also prevents stiffness, cramps and tense muscles during/post workouts too.
● Stretch 1: Head & Neck – 2 Sets Each
Neck Tilts: In a standing position, tilt the neck slowly from left to right. Do the same from right to left, then same from front to back. (x10 each)
Neck Rotation: In a standing position, rotate the neck from left to right looking down on the floor, touching your chin to your chest, moving it towards the left, then looking up to the ceiling, moving it to the right to look straight slowly. Do the same from right to left. (x10 each)
● Stretch 2: Shoulders and Arms – 2 Sets Each
Shoulder Rotation: In a standing or sitting position, touch your shoulder and rotate the shoulder from front to back and do the same from back to front slowly. You will also feel a stretch on the back.
Horizontal Arm Stretch: In a standing or sitting position, take the right arm and stretch it toward the left and use the left arm to hold the right arm and push it towards the body. Do the same with the left arm. (x10 each)
Straight Arm Stretch: In a standing or sitting position, stretch your right arm right in front of you in a stop sign position, your palms vertical. Use the left arm to pull onto the fingers of your right hand and pull for a few seconds. You will feel a stretch throughout the arm. Do the same with your left hand. Then put your palms downwards and do the same pulling method on either palm. (x2 each)
● Stretch 3: Torso and Back – 2 Sets Each
Waist Rotation: In a standing position, hold on to your waist and rotate it in a circular motion from left to right and then left to right. (x10 each)
Torso Twist: In a standing position, hold your waist and twist your torso and look back on your left side and stay there for a few seconds. Do the same on your right side. You will feel a stretch on your back and oblique. (x5 each)
● Stretch 4: Legs
Knee Hug: In a standing position, take the left knee and pull it towords the body and put your arms around it and hug it for a few seconds. Do the same for the right knee. (x2 each)
Quad Stretch: In a standing position, bend the left knee and kick it towards the butt and hold onto it for a few seconds. Do the same on the right. You should feel a pull on your quads. (x2 each)
Hamstring/Calf Stretch: In a standing position, place your left foot forward and flex the ankle so that your toes are pulling upward to the body. Bend the supporting knee and stay there for a few seconds. Do the same for the right leg. (x2 each)
Leg Stretch: In a standing position, widen your legs and bend the left knee. Shift the body weight towards the left too and feel the stretch on the right leg and hold for a few seconds. Do the same on the right side. Then, put your left leg forward and right leg back. Bend the left knee and extend out the right and feel the stretch on your right leg and hold for a few seconds. Do the same for the right leg. (x2 each)
● Stretch 5: Full body
Body Roll Down: In a standing position, bend your body and touch your toes and hold for a few seconds. Then bend your knees and sit while touching/holding onto your toes and hold for a few seconds. Come back up while still maintain the toe touching position and slowly roll back up straightening you back, your neck, and then your head and roll your shoulders behind. Breathe in and out and do the same a couple of times more. (x3)
Keep in mind you can do any of these stretching exercises even in your work place or whenever your body is feeling stiff. It only takes a few seconds and feels incredibly relaxing and helps loosen up the body.