If you are someone who exercises frequently you may often find yourself with unexpected joint pain. While having proper form and giving your body adequate rest can reduce the chances of joint pain, sometimes it can help to incorporate specific stretching routines into your regimen as well.
These five stretches will have you looking and feeling better and will also increase your performance. Be sure to do them after you do your foam rolling and other soft tissue work but just before your warm-up. This will help increase the tissue elasticity when you stretch, and will help your joints’ range of motion when the stretch is finished. The stretches are also beneficial for people who have hunched shoulders, since a large majority of people have a tight rotator cuff, which pulls on the lats and pecs which can give a hunch back look.
Also, be sure to focus on the lat and pectorial stretch, because these are very critical for fixing posture issues that are caused by weightlifting.
Start with a resistance band and loop it around a bar above your head. Put both hands together and hold the band tightly. Make sure the height is such so that your body is turned to be at about 45° angle and your arm is extended above your head.
Step forward and turn, releasing tension on the arm that is straight. Focus on pushing your chest as you do this. This will stretch your pectoral muscles in the front of your body, and the deltoids as well. Hold this position for one minute.
Do the same as the above, but start by facing the opposite direction. Grab the band with your other hand, and step away, but focus on keeping your arms straight. This time push your chest at a downward angle. This will help to stretch out the tricep muscles and will also reach all the way to your lats. Hold this position for one minute, and do the same for the other arm.
Start with a kettle bell and pull it to the front of your chest. Relax your shoulders. Put your arms behind your head but ensure that the weight sits on top and just below the back of your head, kind of like a halo. Let the weight pull your arms downward. This will stretch your lat muscles and your chest as well. You can do this a couple times, and then add a small rotating motion to the exercise. Do five rotations, both with the kettle bell in front and in back of your head.
If you lift weights a lot or do a lot of fitness based activities, frequently there’s a good chance you have tight hip flexors. This is especially true if you have a day job where you do a lot of sitting. Keeping your hip flexor stretched will help you improve your squats, and also your posture. It will also strengthen your lower back – which will reduce the chances of lower back pain.
Start by kneeling down (it will be easy on your knees if you do this on a mat), but place 1 foot forward as if you’re doing a lunging motion. Keep your torso straight up and focus on moving your hips in a forward motion. This will stretch the back of your leg underneath the knee joint. Hold this pose for one minute.
You can also flex your abs while doing the stretch. This will keep your lower back straight, and reduce the strain on your hip flexor.
A lot of people that do weightlifting have poor range of motion in their hip joint, which can be problematic if you do a lot of deep squats.
Start by laying down flat on your back and bend your knees slightly, but keep your feet against the ground. Place your feet about 24 inches apart on either side, and bring your knees together by pulling on them with your hands. You will feel a slight push on the outside of your hips when you do this. Hold this pose for one minute, and bring your feet further out and hold for another minute.
Exercising and working out can be challenging and fun. Joint pain however is not. With adequate stretching, you can avoid or reduce the stress put on your joints and relieve muscle pain at the same time.
I am a health and fitness enthusiast and I am currently training for my first triathlon. To help me keep better track of my goals, I often test out the latest wearable technologies. If looking to read similar content, take a look at my site. I review fitness trackers and write guides, and also interview other bloggers.