the stretches you should finish with tonight, and every night

In General by Adam Friedman

This is quick note from me to you about when and how you should stretch.

To start, here are the best times to stretch in IMPROVE your flexibility:

  • Before bed
  • After practice
  • After your workout
  • After a competition

It so happens that these are also times when we least feel like putting in the effort to do so. We’re already exhausted and ready to check out.

Remember though…you’re an athlete. And it’s all about being ready for action the next day.

That requires preparation. Some of which is going to involve proactive recovery strategies that we resist.

But you do them anyways. It’s because they’re valuable to what you desire…to perform and compete against your best self.

And this isn’t possible if your joints aren’t working the way they should. Or worse, you get injured. I want you to get that YOU can PREVENT this.

Building a stretching habit isn’t easy. But then again, neither were all the results that you’ve worked so hard for.

It’s why committing to a daily post-workout routine is essential. It’s a staple in all my programs for athletes.

So here are some quick tips to help you get optimal results:

  • Have clear intention to create your greatest and safest range of motion with each stretching exercise. This requires effort from start to finish.
  • Position your body to effectively isolate specific areas that feel restricted.
  • Use steady breathing and proper timing to allow your nervous system to be open to increasing your end ranges of motion.

Finish with these three stretches tonight…and every night.

90/90 stretch:

This is my favorite post-workout stretch to help open up my hips in internal and external rotation. When there is restriction in these two areas, it puts your back and knees in jeopardy of injury.

Hip Flexor stretch:

Athletes notoriously have tight hip flexors. They are often the root of lower back pain. So finish the day with this stretch.

Quadriceps stretch:

The quadriceps are often an over-dominant muscle for many athletes. This means that they take away from your ability to access your glutes to deliver explosive power. This stretch can help reverse that.

Stretching is that one thing that we know we SHOULD do, but somehow it falls way below on our list of positive habits. As you may have figured out by now, I am out to change that.

Be proactive with a daily habit of post-workout stretching. Your body will thank you.

How is this different from pre-workout stretching? I’ll explain next week.

In the meantime if you’ve not already had a chance, check out my 30-Day Get Lean Challenge. Stretching is one of the key components of the program.