- Duration: 13 Minutes
- Calorie Burn: 36-50
- Difficulty: 1/5
- Equipment: Mat, No Equipment
- Training Type: Warm Up/Cool Down, Yoga/Flexibility
Fitness Blender’s lower body stretching routine is the perfect way to wrap up any kind of strength training or cardio routine.
You can do this as often as you like, virtually any time, however, we recommend that you not do this workout immediately before starting straight into a vigorous exercise regime.
Because the stretch positions are held for roughly 30 seconds apiece, this routine is more ideal for after a workout is complete; holding a position for this long before strenuous physical activity can be potentially dangerous because it can actually loosen your joints, raising the odds for preventable injuries and strains.
Flexibility is one of the biggest indicators of quality of life as you age. Using lower body stretches like the one in this video will help you maintain or improve your flexibility and range of motion.
In fact, the amount of elasticity of your muscles can even be an indicator of seemingly unrelated variables, such as the elasticity of your arteries. In recent studies, people who are capable of higher ranges of motion have been shown to also have less rigid arteries, which makes for a lower blood pressure and reduced chances of heart disease and illness.
Dr Kenta Yamamoto of the University of North Texas, was part of a study published in the American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, where it was found that those who had reduced flexibility of the trunk, as demonstrated by a simple toe touch stretch (as seen in the video above), had a higher systolic blood pressure than people who were more limber and had full range of movement.
A habitual stretching component should be of upmost importance, right up there with cardiovascular training and strength training. This is both for reasons of staying mobile and agile, and for improving overall health.
With that said, flexibility is not something that you should wait to work on until you are older. Maintaining your body’s full range of motion is something that you have to be proactive about protecting from time and the wear and tear that everyday activity has on your body – that is in reference from everything to running a few miles on the treadmill, or sitting all day at your desk (in a less-than-accommodating chair) staring into a computer screen.
If you don’t like straightforward stretching routines, you can exchange it with Pilates or yoga and get a similar benefit.
If you were to do this video diligently once a day, you would be able to see a difference in your flexibility in as little as two weeks.