When I was in high school, we used to hold long stretches before any activity. However, recent studies have shown this type of stretching is not as useful as once thought.
The stretches referred to in these studies are the long-hold static stretches, like touching toes and holding for thirty seconds. On the flip side, the research recommends dynamic or active stretches like those used in yoga.
In the following video, I provide an active way of stretching that will help lengthen and engage the major muscles without any long holds. This video is appropriate before any type of sweat session scheduled in your training. Here is a list of movements in the flow, along with details of how each move helps you.
- Cat-cow: Brings liquidity into spine.
- Core, glutes, and outer hips: Builds heat and strength in the prime movers.
- Down dog: Lengthens the spine, and builds heat in the arms and legs while giving a nice stretch.
- Plank rolls: Brings heat into the shoulders, arms, and wrists to prepare for activities.
- Front lunges: Great to build heat in the thighs and open the hip flexors.
- Side lunges: Opens the groin, hamstring, calf, and achilles.