It is really important after a workout to remember to stretch our muscles. This encourages them to lengthen and prevent muscular imbalances. For instance if you cycle to work you will tighten the hip flexors, failing to stretch them before you sit at a desk all day will cause tight hip flexors to develop. This often starts to reduce the mobility of the hip, purely because one muscle has become too tight compared to its adjacent muscles. This is why we encourage patient stretching exercises.
- PSOAS Stretch
This exercise is great for loosening the front of the hip (psoas muscle). It’s particularly useful for those who sit all day, cycle or run to name a few. You may think it’s odd to suggest the same stretch to an office worker as a cyclist, however the cyclist is working the psoas (tightening it) and the desk worker is sitting with the muscle in the shortened positiona and therefore it’s advisable that both stretch the muscle out.
2. Soleus Stretch
Soleus stretch is a useful stretch for runners who feel they just aren’t stretching the correct part of the lower leg or perhaps the correct muscle at all. Give this stretch a go and see if it feels more appropriate for you.
3. Calf Stretch
The Calf is the muscle found in the back of the lower leg. The Calf attaches onto the calcaneus (bone at the heel) and travels up the back of the lower leg forming part of the gastrocnemius (aka calf) and soleus.
The contraction of this muscle causes plantar flexion (the foot to point down) and stabilisation of the ankle. The muscle is important during walking, running and jumping playing an important role in acceleration and deceleration.
Injury to the calf are often caused by sudden acceleration. The victim may note a popping sound when this occurs and can experience significant pain as the muscle tears, spasms and contracts forcefully, therefore it’s important to stretch this regularly.
4. Gluteal (Glut) Stretch
The glut stretch is a great way to stretch out the gluteals and piriformis muscles. please watch the video to choose the best position for you. Remember to keep your spine flat to the floor and if an position or motion cause you pain stop immediately.