WHEN TO STRETCH
‘It’s very important to cool down and stretch properly after you go for a walk or do any physical activity,’ says stretching coach Brad Walker.
A good time to stretch is during your cool down, when your muscles are warm and pliable.
‘The main aim of a cool down is to promote recovery and return the body to a pre-exercise level,’ says Brad.
HOW TO STRETCH
‘Slowly move into the stretch position until you feel a tension of about five or six out of 10,’ Brad advises. ‘If you feel pain or discomfort, you’ve pushed too far. Back out of the stretch immediately,’ he says.
‘If you currently have any chronic or recurring muscle or joint pain, please take extra care when performing the stretches below, or consult with your physician or physical therapist before performing any of them.’
STRETCHES TO TRY
Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds while relaxing and breathing deeply. Come out of the stretch carefully and switch sides if necessary. Repeat two or three times.
SQUATTING LEG-OUT ADDUCTOR MUSCLE AND GROIN STRETCH
Stand with your feet wide apart. Keep one leg straight and your toes pointing forward while bending the other leg and turning your toes out to the side. Lower your groin towards the ground and rest your hands on your bent knee or on the ground.
STANDING TOE-UP LOWER CALF AND ACHILLES STRETCH
Stand upright and place the ball of your foot onto a step or raised object. Bend your knee and lean forward.
KNEELING HIP AND QUAD STRETCH
Kneel on one knee. If needed, hold on to something to keep your balance, then push your hips forward and hold.
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