The Minimalist Guide to Stretching (Sleep Like a Baby at Night)
It’s mind-boggling how few people stretch their muscles on a daily basis. I’m the first who declares himself guilty. Fortunately, now that I’m in heavy training for a major event next year, I must do my stretches methodically to be able to shield myself from injury. But this post is not about me, is about how you can integrate a short, daily stretching routine to your life to sleep better and rest like a champion.
The Benefits of a Night Stretch
Stretching before bed will keep your joints and muscles loose. It will also speed up your recovery from any physical activity. Stretching before you go to bed will help you feel energized the following day. If you know yoga, then knowing what stretches to execute can be easy.
Recommended Stretches to Perform Before Bedtime
1. Abductor Stretch
This stretch will help elongate one of the tighest muscle on adults. Think about it, most of us spend countless hours sitting down, during which the abductors are relaxed but also somewhat contracted. As you stand up from your chair you’ll feel tension on the front side of your hip. That’s the abductors elongating after several hours of being contracted. This stretch will help elongate and relax the top of the quadriceps and the muscles of the hip.
2. Back Stretch
Our back is one of the sections of our body that received most of the tension. Start with bad posture as we type or write. Also, as we stand talking with colleagues, it’s easy to adopt an incorrect standing position, thus the back must compensate so as to keep out bodies balanced. This stretch will help you relieve that tension and help relax de muscles of the lower and mid section of the back.
3. Hamstring Stretch
The hamstrings are one the great support muscle groups we have on our bodies and although we take them for granted, when we suffer a sprain, it’s painful. They support of quads as we walk, lean down to pick up objects, and sit down. Try to lean down with your legs straight and attempt to touch the ground. If you’re not able to touch it, you need serious hamstring stretch work. This stretch is one of two I’m recommending today. As you start to improve your flexibility, I guarantee a lot of simple movements will become easier to make and you’ll shield yourself from unwanted sprains.
4. Lower back & Hip Stretch
This is one of my favorite stretches. When you get started, you’ll feel as if your hip is about to tear, but the results obtained from this stretch are mind-blowing. Its benefits are countless.
Do the following simple test. Seating at your chair, with both feet planted on the ground, try to turn your body around 90 degrees. Before you get started with this stretch, you’ll feel the pull on the muscles of your hip. As you elongate these muscles, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your mobility and in how easy you’ll be able to make that 90 degree turn.
5. Lower back and Hamstring Stretch
This is a different stretch for the hamstring muscles, but this one also works on stretching the muscles of the lower back. It helps alleviate tension from the sides of our lower back and helps in relaxing that section of the body. It’s important that we execute this exercise slowly as to avoid hyperextending the hamstring.
6. Quadricep Stretch
The Quadriceps are the largest muscles we have in our bodies. They also are the ones that consume the most oxygen as we workout. Given that they are one of the pillars of our physiology, we must have them in top shape, and to stretch them regularly is one of the ways to keep them in shape. The stretch I recommend today is very simple and it must be done with concentration. Make sure you really feel the stretch as you push your front leg down. Do not hyperextend the quadricep.
You should be able to do these six stretching exercises in about 10 minutes. Do them before going to bed and they will help you improve the quality of your sleep. In addition, in a short time you’ll start to feel improvements in mobility and agility. If you practice any sport or have an exercise routine, you’ll notice that the movements you perform will be easier to make. Most importantly, your daily stretching routine will shield your body from painful injuries.