Working out and building a great body takes discipline and hard work. But are you covering all the bases? Today in my weekly newsletter, The Scoop, I spoke about how to properly build the butt muscles to achieve a nice well toned bum. Part of building a well toned body is also implementing a great stretch routine. The more varied your workouts and fitness routine, the better the results will be. Have you ever noticed how an athlete trains? They cover all of the bases: they do yoga (great stretching), they run (great cardio), they left weights (great strength training), they rest-wonderful for allowing the body to recover, and they have a well rounded diet. It takes all components to achieve the healthy, toned body you’re looking for.
Nic Tip: the key to stretching is allowing your body to stretch and not forcing the stretch. Try moving with your breath, to get a deeper stretch. Be gentle with your body, forcing any movement can result in injury like pulled muscles, or even worse, broken body parts. Consult your doctor to make sure you’re up for working out and get the help of a personal trainer or yoga instructor if you need more advice on how to do any of these stretches.
Great stretches to try at home:
Wideleg Standing Forward Bend: With feet spread wide apart, slowly bend down and grab your ankles. Hold for 60 seconds, with no bounding. If having your legs wide apart is too much, try with feet together and gradually work your way up to having them wide apart. Also, if you can’t grab your ankles, try grabbing your knees first. This is great to gently stretch your lower back and hamstrings.
Wideleg Standing Forward Bend
Single Leg Stretch: Lying on the floor, with one leg drawn to the chest, gently pull your leg that is drawn into the chest. This is another option for streching the hamstrings while alleviating some pressure on the lower back.
Single Leg Stretch
Cobra Pose: This is a great stretch for the abs, after your ab routine. Lying on the floor on your front, simply stretch your trunk up as far as you can go. When your body is able to, gently tilt your head back for an added stretch.
Stretching is the trick that will elongate your muscles for that nice, long lean look that so many athletes and dancers have. What are some of your favorite stretches? Tag me on Instagram, @nic-hyl to show me!
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