Stretching Routine Before Working Out

A stretching routine before working out is the act of warming the body before normal exercises. Warming the body up provides good circulation of blood around the parts of the body so that exercises can be done without much stress. Furthermore, exercising before the warm up can cause injury to the muscles because of its elastic nature.

Standing Back and Hamstring Stretch

This is done to warm up the hamstrings (the rear thigh muscles) and the lower back. The technique is as follows:

  • In a correct standing position, place the left foot at a little distance in front of the right foot, lifting the left toes.
  • The right knee should now be bent as the abdomen is gently taken inwards.
  • There should now be a leaning forward from the hips, resting the two palms on top of the right thigh.
  • The shoulder must be kept relaxed so that the lower back is just slightly curved inward.
  • This ends the warm up with the left leg. The next one should be done with the right leg.

Groin and Back Stretch

i) The back stretch

This can be achieved by

  • Holding a pole, bar or just any support that looks like a pillar.
  • Rotate the body to one side of the pole with one hand and leg touching the pole.
  • There should now be a tension on the shoulders. This is maintained for while and repeated for the second time with the second feet touching the pole.

ii) The groin stretch

The groin stretch is done by sitting down on the ground to make the soles of the feet to gain contact. The stretch is more pronounced when the elbows are placed inside the knees and leaning forward. While leaning forward, efforts should be made to press the knee downward.

Groin and inner thigh stretch

Groin stretch

The Groin stretch

Back stretches

Sitting back and hamstring stretch

This is done to release the lower back. The techniques are as follows:

  • Sit on the floor and stretch the legs forward.
  • For a more guided practice, one can use a bar for this stretching technique.
  • Just place the bar/rod under the feet with the palms, the bar and the feet in contact.
  • Then bend forward from the hips.
  • Repeat lifting the legs to the initial position.
  • When lifting, inhaling should be done, while exhaling should be done when bending forward. Each position before lifting and bending should be maintained for approximately 60 seconds.
  • Repeat the test as much as possible.

Sitting Hamstring stretch in comparison with the standing Hamstring stretch

Sitting Hamstring stretch

Upper body twist

This stretch is done to release stress felt at the upper body. It can be done anywhere even at the office by following these few guidelines:

  • Sit straight on a solid chair to avoid bouncing or unwanted movement with the legs pointing forward.
  • The face should also be forward in the same direction as the feet.
  • With two chairs already placed by the sides, starting with the right hand, place it on the chair beside it (the right hand in a straight position while touching the chair) and let the left hand join the right hand by moving it towards the direction of the chair on the right hand.
  • Hold for about 20 seconds and repeat for the left hand.

The upper body twist

Strengthening the spine with upper body twist

Lower back stretch

The lower back stretch can be done first thing in the morning or last thing at night to release pains at the lower back. One simple lower back stretch is called the Simple Cat stretch. The simple cat technique is done make the spine more active to make flexible movements. It can be done as follows:

  • Stay relaxed on the floor with the hands and knees (just like a cat).
  • Breathing in slowly, raise the head to let the back form a curve.
  • Breathing out, stretch the spine in the opposite direction to form a parabolic curve. The spine achieves this curve by facing downwards, the chin moving toward the chest and raising the back as high as possible.
  • This can be repeated 5-10 times.

Lower back stretch exercises

Guide to performing lower back stretch

Lying lower back stretch

Low back pain exercise guide

Eye-hand coordination

This is the ability to move the eye as the hand moves. It is a test of vision. The test enables the vision system to control and guide the hands to accomplish a given task such as catching a ball. The test can be done by engaging in different sports activities such as football, by taking food rich in zinc, or by playing video games.

Hand-eye coordination test

Typical test for one's ability to coordinate

About eye-hand coordination

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