JOE's post-workout tips: Stretching after your workout will increase muscle growth
Stretching is vital for your workout and helps to reduce recovery time, as well as increase muscle growth
One of the things that a lot of people will do is to launch straight into their workout, and just walk out the door of the gym once they're finished with no warm up or warm down. JOE must admit that we used to do that ourselves, but we've changed our habits recently.
However, if you do feel that you're tight for time, remember that you'll get a better (and safer) workout if you make sure that your warm up and cool down are included, so whether tha means leaving the house ten minutes early or cutting short your workout to get some stretching in, it will be well worth the time you put into it.
Some static stretching is beneficial after your workout, as your muscles are most definitely warmed up, and it will also loosen up your joints, but it's also key for improving your strength.
As the lads at Fitness Nerd explain, when you lift your muscles contract, and remain that way for a while. If you don't stretch them out, this will not only increase the amount of time needed for recovery, but slow down the process of muscles growth.
Here are a few simple stretches that you can add to the end of your workout in a few short minutes. You might remember these from gym class back in the day, and one tip that we have is to hold each of these stretches for 30 seconds, and if you're paying attention, you'll feel the muscle begin to stretch and loosen after 15 seconds.
Touching your toes
Pretty simple this one, the key thing to remember is to keep your legs as straight as possible, and only stretch to the point of reasobable discomfort, you don't want to injure yourself here. Keep your feet shoulder width apart and go down as far as you can towards the ground. Hold that position for ten seconds and then return to your starting position. With both hands, lean down and try to touch your ankle on your right and then left foot, for ten seconds each side. Next, put your feet together, and try to get down as low as you can, again keeping your legs straight.
Chest and shoulder stretch
Kneel down on the ground, and sit back on to your feet. From there, stretch your arms straigh out in front of you and lower your head so that it touches the ground in front of you.
Return to your starting position on your knees and bring your hips forward to place them on the floor. Place your hands down and bring your upper body (keeping your hips on the ground) up and your chest forward. If you want, you can also combine this movement and the preivous one into a rocking motion that should be performed slowly and repeated around five times.
Lower back/gluteus maximus stretch
Finally, sit on the ground and place your feet togethe> Put your hands on your toes and your elbows just outside your knees. Bring your head down towards your knees and hold the position.
This handy video has a run through of most of those stretches, and it is a very basic set to get you started along the path.
We'll have some more tips up in the coming weeks that are a little more advnaced and focus on specific areas so keep an eye out for those too.
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Enjoy Mooju as part of a healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle.