Play it Safe with Static Stretching

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A lot of thought goes into a workout, from the activity to the playlist. But something people commonly forget is what to do once their workout is over. We caught up with Pierce Hutchings, a fitness professor and personal trainer at HiFi Fitness, to get the skinny on static stretching.

During static stretching Pierce described the muscle as “turned off.” Poses are held for 15-30 seconds in an effort to really elongate muscles and undo any imbalance that may have occurred during a workout.

“The worst thing you can do is leave a workout tight,” he says.

Leaving a workout tight can lead to frequent charlie horses, cramps, and the long term result of imbalanced, tense joints. The goal with static stretching, he says, is to create and maintain elasticity.
Here are a few more stretches you can try post-workout to ensure a healthy, happy body:

Hip flexors/quads:
1. If needed, balance against a wall.
2. Grab the outside of your right foot with your right hand; bring your foot to your rear. This will stretch your quads.
3. For more of a challenge, bring your foot farther back without leaning your torso forward. Doing this will stretch your hip flexor even more.
4. Hold pose for 15-30 seconds, release foot.
5. Switch feet and repeat for three or four reps.

Upper back/shoulders
1.Take your left arm and pull it straight across your body, using your right hand to steady it. Place your right hand at or above your elbow, ensuring not to bend your arm (if this is too much of a strain, move your right hand below your elbow).
2. Hold 15-30 seconds, switch sides.

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