Stretching, you’ve gotta love it!
It reduces stress, reduces muscle tension and increases mobility, making everyday movements feel easy and effortless.
Yet, adding a stretch routine into your day, along with the recommended 2 days a week of strength training and let’s not forget 150 minutes of cardio weekly, turns physical activity into a full time job.
So, let’s cut down on the time you’re going to spend on exercise.
This Stretching workout strengthens at the same time!
It’s a win, win!
If you’re new to strength training, or you’ve been off of your regular workout routine for a while, then this workout is the perfect place to start.
The slow and methodical pace, not only relaxes the body, but it gives you the time you need to perfect your form as you tone the body.
Strengthening the body increases lean muscle which creates strength and lasting energy.
You’ll tone and tighten your muscles and, (just like stretching), you’ll enhance your energy throughout your day. Yet, unlike stretching (which enhances energy by elongating tight muscles and giving you a moment to reduce stress and relax)
Strengthening instead brings power to your body. You use less energy to climb stairs, lift bags (or suitcases if you’re like me and you like to travel) and everyday tasks become easy!
Not to mention, that increase in lean muscle that strengthening provides, will also increase your metabolic rate. (You’ll burn more calories)!
So, now that you know all of the amazing benefits of stretching and strengthening, let’s go over a few tips that can help you achieve these benefits injury free.
Exercise Tips to Make Your Workout a Maximum Success:
To protect Your knees:
You’ll notice the first stretch in this workout sequence is a lunge.
This exercises often causes knee pain if you bend your front knee too deep, or if your knee isn’t aligned with your shoulder.
During the exercise, you don’t need to bend your leg low to activate and tone the muscles.
Bend the front knee only as much as you feel comfortable and take the time to make sure your knee is in alignment with your shoulder.
If you feel pain, rise (straighten your leg). This is meant to be a relaxed stretching exercise as well as a strengthening workout, so adjust the movement to feel comfortable.
To Protect Your Back:
There are two exercises that you may need to adjust to enjoy your workout.
First, during the lunge (the first movement I show you), you don’t need to extend your back leg out far. You can continue to stretch and strengthen by taking only a small step back.
As you step back, squeeze your bottom. This makes sure your bottom is working and helping out the low back.
It’s also important to watch your posture.
Often when we hear “stand tall” we tend to strut the chest and arch the low back. This creates more back tension than protection.
Instead, focus on bracing your abs and maintaining a natural arch in your low back.
To make it easier, take a step in with you back leg to help reduce the low back arch.
Second, During the side bends (where I hold the weight above my head and create the letter C)
Place the opposite hand (the one not reaching up) on your hip. Then, press into the hand as you curl into the letter C (like I do for many of the reps in the video).
This helps to displace the weight on your low back.
Make sure to use a very light weight during the workout to ensure your back is protected.
For this workout you’ll need
- Light weights (2 pounds or 5 pounds)
- Your own body weight (Easy! You bring your body weight with you everywhere you go)
So, are you ready!? Let’s get started.
Now that you’ve strengthened the body it’s time to repair the lean muscle you’ve worked so hard to get.
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