#HealthBytes: Five stretches to do after 10 minutes of warm-up
Before exercising to build strength and endurance, stretching our body is imperative. Stretching helps the muscles achieve a greater range of motion with increased flexibility. Here are a few easy movements to help you flex your joints and muscles. Do them after 10 minutes of warm-up, when your muscles are active.
Standing quad stretch targets the quads and hip flexors
To begin with, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Now, lift your right feet off the floor and grab your right ankle with your right hand. Balance your body weight on your left leg. Lifting your left arm will also help you stay focused. Engage your right butt and hold this position for about 10 seconds. Repeat the same on your left side.
Cat-cow pose targets the abdominal muscles, back and spine
Start in a table-top position such that your wrist is beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath the hips. Now, inhale and arch your back while holding in your belly button. This is the cat position. After holding this position for few seconds, exhale, drop your belly, lift your chest and look up to the ceiling. Hold the cow position for a few seconds.
Kneeling wrist stretches for the wrists and forearms
Start in a table-top position with your fingers facing away from you. Lean your body forward until you feel a stretch in your arms. Hold this pose for a few seconds. Next, turn your hands in the opposite direction by letting your fingers face your body. Sink your body weight to your heels and hold the position for a few seconds. Relax.
Neck stretches flexes the neck and upper trap
Stand straight with your head upright. Now, place your right hand on your left ear and gently move your head toward your right shoulder. Hold the position for up to 30 seconds. Come back to the starting position and relax. Repeat it two more times. Come back to the starting position and relax for 10 seconds before doing the same on the other side.
Hurdler hamstring stretch flexes the hamstrings
Sit on the floor with the right leg in front of you. Bend the left leg at the knee and position its sole against the thigh of your right leg. Extend both arms and reach forward to touch your right feet. You can also place your hands beside the ankle. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat it on the other side.