Once you’ve finished your training, it’s not the time to pack up and go home quite yet. This is where you should get some good stretching to aid that recovery.
In this episode, I will focus on the primary muscles that would have been used the most in your upper-body training.
The forearm muscles are primarily used to grip the bar and hold on. We can stretch these out by bending the wrist back and bringing the arm across our body.
Remember to do both sides, always. Spend enough time to feel a real difference. I’m not going to add in timings here because it’s really down to your anatomy.
Note that I’m also going to link to more stretches on youtube below.
The upper arm can be stretched by trying to increase the distance between your shoulder and the elbow. Bring the arm across your body, hook your other arm behind the elbow and start pulling the shoulder back.
You shouldn’t be rotating at the waist or moving around. Also, your arm shouldn’t be around your neck and choking you either.
Shoulder and chest
There are so many stretches for the shoulder and chest, it’s crazy. The one I find the most effective is by using a wall or the floor to lay my arm along, perpendicular to my body (sticking out at shoulder height) and then rolling my body back onto it. This uses my bodyweight to help the stretch.
That big primary muscle group for the pulling action. This needs a lot of love and stretching too. Again, I’m going to focus on two that I find the most effective.
Firstly, you want to use a wall and place both hands in front of you onto it. Next, you are going to twist 90 degrees one way and move your hands on the wall so one is above and higher than the other. You should now feel that the outer side of your body (from the top arm running down) should be stretching and targetting the lats.
Secondly, you could use a mobility band on the bar. Grab it with one hand and try to move back as far as you can, stretching the band. Now step backwards with the same side leg and place your knee on the floor. That side should now be getting the stretch. To target the Lats a little more you can add some twisting too.
The abdominal muscles are notoriously tricky to target a stretch. Especially since opening the up and elongating them usually means that your lower back vertebrae get crunched together.
So, when you do this particular lying down stretch ensure that you engage your glute (bum) muscles to put your hips into a good position so that the discs in your back don’t get crunched.
There is a world of online tutorials and videos on stretching every part of your body. It’s worth doing your due diligence to research up good sources of information. Find out who the leaders of the industry are and why. See what they offer and if it works for you. If not, keep searching!