After spending day after day in the gym, it is not uncommon to be hit with muscle soreness. Exercising breaks down the body's muscles, so don't be surprised if one morning you find it difficult to get out of bed. Instead of giving into your soreness and lying in bed all day, stretch the soreness out before and after every workout. Stretching helps to keep muscles loose and also prevents injury, allowing you to stay on track with your workouts.
Stand with feet about hip width apart to begin a hamstring stretch. Bend forward and reach your arms down as far as they can go. Rest your hands on your legs or the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Slowly stand back up.
Begin a quadriceps stretch by lying on your stomach with the foam roller under your thighs. Lift your chest off the ground by fully extending your arms, into a half pushup position. With the foam roller under your thighs, slowly roll back and forth so that the foam roller moves from your upper thighs to just before your kneecaps. Roll for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat as needed.
Stand with your feet slightly apart for a second quadricep stretch. Grab a wall or chair with one hand for support. Grasp your right leg with your right hand and bring your right foot up to your glutes. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and repeat on the left leg.
- Do not stretch beyond what is comfortable for you. Stretching should be somewhat uncomfortable, but should never be painful.
- Release the stretch if it begins to become too painful.
- Incorporate stretching into your daily routine to keep your muscles loose, even when you aren't exercising.
- Improper stretching can lead to injury, so consult a doctor or trainer before you begin any new routine. Allow them to show you the techniques needed to properly stretch before and after each workout, and specifically when you are dealing with sore muscles.
Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.