Stretching for a More Effective Workout

Your workout regimen should have all the strengthening exercises, aerobic exercises and stretches to build your body up and help you meet all of your exercise and fitness goals. The need for strengthening exercises is hard to overlook by many would be body builders but it should always be remembered that adequate stretching along with every workout is just as important to achieving overall fitness. Below is a list of great, fat burning exercises.

Stretching is the act of lengthening or abducting certain muscles or muscle groups. Stretching helps skeletal muscles, as opposed to internal muscles, retain a sense of flexibility and allow for a greater range of motion for the body part that is attached to that muscle or muscle group.

Stretching is a form of exercise in and of itself but for those who are pursuing a fuller exercise regimen you should use exercising to cool down as well as to improve your range of motion which could allow you to perform many exercises more efficiently by giving you a greater range of motion in your repetitions.

Stretching to cool down can help you avoid injuries and cramps after your workouts, which will help you prepare you for your next workout.  If you fail to stretch after a workout, you will likely find it harder to exercise the next time you perform the same exercises.

If you have been running on a treadmill or exercising your legs by doing squats you should definitely spend time stretching and limbering up your quadriceps. This is a common exercise that you have probably seen runners and other athletes perform before running.

To get the most out of this stretch you should position yourself next to a wall or some other sturdy object so that you can focus on the stretch without needing to focus on keeping your balance at the same time. Once you are in position with one hand steadying yourself against the wall or other object you should reach your opposite hand downwards and behind you while lifting the same foot behind you so that your knee bends and the heel of your foot moves up towards your rear end.

Once your foot is near your hand you should grasp your foot by the ankle securely so that you can pull your foot further upwards. When you feel your quadriceps start to stretch you should hold the position for about thirty seconds before switching feet and repeating the stretch with the opposite foot.

During this stretch you should strive for good form by keeping you stomach muscles. You should also focus on keeping your knees together so that you don’t stretch the muscles out of alignment or lose your balance if you are performing the stretch without the aid of a wall to balance against. This exercise can also help improve your balance.

About the author: Jessica Staheli is a health and fitness nut. She loves to write about being healthy and getting in shape because she believes that taking care of your body is important. Having fitness equipment in your home is a great way to remind yourself to exercise, and she recommends for help with choosing a treadmill. You can follow her at Google+.