Lower Body Stretches on the Total Gym



Your muscles have the ability to move in multiple ranges of motion, especially during an activity or sport. If you neglect lengthening them before or after a workout, you could set yourself up for a potential injury or risk the chance of straining a muscle.

Muscle recovery is one of the most valuable aspects of training. Therefore, stretching pre and post workout will help lengthen your muscles, reduce soreness, muscular tension, and prepare you for your workouts.

TYPES OF STRETCHING METHODS

There are several ways to stretch. Using a combination of these methods will benefit your body to aid in muscular recovery as well as enhance physical performance.Listed are different types of stretching styles that offer benefits to your muscles.

  • Dynamic - Energetic movement in all ranges & planes of motion. Perfect for a warm-up.
  • Active - Contracting the muscle being stretched for a few seconds, then releasing and relaxing into the stretch to gain more flexibility. The tension of the agonists helps to relax the muscles being stretch (antagonists) by ‘self’ reciprocal inhibition.
  • Static - Stretches that are still and held for 10 seconds or longer.
  • Ballistic - Passive or dynamic stretching using a 10 seconds or longto force the limb into an extended range of motion. Ballistic is not the most preferred method of stretching and could lead to injury if executed improperly.
  • Foam Rolling - A devise used to self-massage tight, sore, and muscular tension to speed up recovery, as well as, prevent injury.
  • Yoga Poses - A series of poses that have specific intensions to lengthen, strengthen, and cleanse muscles, organs and the mind.
  • Total Gym Stretches - A series of stretches or movements that can be performed on the Total Gym by using gravity to assist or resist the stretch appropriately.


  • Stretching is essential to keep your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy for daily mobility. It’s also important to maintain proper range of motion and strength in the joints to prevent injury. Incorporating a variety of these stretching techniques will ultimately benefit your overall performance in all you do.

    BENEFITS OF STRETCHING

    It’s well known that we all should take time daily to stretch, but often it takes the back seat to other movement skills. Before ending your workout short of a quick stretch, consider the many benefits that stretching does for your muscles.

  • Warm-up the body prior to exercise
  • Increases muscle flexibility
  • Increases joint range of motion
  • Decreases the risk of injury
  • Reduces muscle soreness
  • Improved circulation
  • Enhances posture
  • Enhanced coordination
  • Reduces stress


  • TOTAL GYM STRETCHES

    Take time to incorporate flexibility training into your workout. Maximize your workout by incorporating these 5 powerful post-workout stretches to increase your lower body flexibility, hip mobility, and range of motion.

    Directions:
    Perform the following stretches in the order listed on one side, then repeat on the other. Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds and dynamically move your body in different angles to feel the stretch where you need it most.

    I encourage you to explore the different types of stretching methods (dynamic, active, passive) to add a variety of flexibility styles into your program. Have fun with it and breathe!

    Overall goal: Lengthen lower body muscles to increase hip mobility and prevent injury

    Setting: Low - Medium Incline
    GB = Glide Board

    REVERSE RUNNERS LUNGE & REACH
    Targets: Hip flexors, quads, glutes, hips, core, chest opener, torso
    Do: Kneel facing away from the tower with one foot at the side of the base and the opposite shin on the GB. Open the GB to feel the stretch in the hip flexor and thigh. Reach the GB arm overhead to increase the stretch.

    REVERSE LUNGE & TWIST
    Targets: Hip flexors, quads, glutes, hips, spinal mobility, shoulder opener, torso
    Do: From the above ‘Reverse Runners Lunge’ position, place the lifted hand onto the base, reach the opposite arm upward to form a straight line, and rotate the torso into the bent knee. Relax into the stretch and aim to bring your chest towards the bent knee.

    QUAD STRETCH
    Targets: Quads, hip flexor, core activation, chest opener
    Do: From the above ‘Reverse Lunge & Twist’ position, bend the knee on the GB and reach the arm that’s lifted to grab for the foot/ ankle/ calf (pants!). Keep the opposite hand on the base with the arm extended.

    SPLIT ROCKS
    Targets: Hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, core control
    Do: From the above ‘Quad Stretch’ position, extend the leg onto the GB and place the hands on both sides of the foot near the base. Slowly open the GB and extend the leg to feel the stretch in the hamstring. Breathe as you move in and out of this stretch.

    ASSISTED SIDE SPLITS
    Targets: Inner thigh, groin, core control
    Do: Face into the center while keeping the same leg extended on the GB and kneel on the floor at the base with the opposite knee. Place one hand on the GB and the other on the floor for support. Slowly, open and close the GB to feel the inner thigh and groin stretch. Keep the torso long, shoulders down, and core contracted.

    STANDING SIDE SPLITS (Advanced)
    Targets: Inner thighs, groin, core control, spinal mobility
    Do: From the ‘Assisted Side Splits’ position, extend both legs to perform an advanced inner thigh stretch. This is a deeper stretch for those who have greater range of motion and need a flexibility challenge.

    REPEAT STRETCH SEQUENCE ON OPPOSITE SIDE.


    Check out the video to see how these lower body stretches are performed on your Total Gym.

    NOTE: The stretches are demonstrated ‘dynamically’. Each stretch can be held statically or contracted to release into the pose too.

    Stretching regularly can be your ultimate game changer to unlock your fitness potential.

    Best Always,
    Maria

    www.groovysweatstore.com
    @GROOVYSWEAt

    Maria Sollon

    Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work.http://www.groovysweat.com http://www.groovysweatstore.com (purchasable workout videos) http://www.youtube.com/groovysweat (workout clips)

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