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Stretch Those Muscles Before Exercising

By Stephen R. Farris

Whether you work out in the spring, summer, fall or winter, do you jump right into it, or do you warm up before getting started?

Hopefully, you're warming up before exercising. If not, then you're setting yourself up for a chance of injuring something such as pulling a muscle or straining a ligament. If that happens, it could set your routine back for a while and possibly force you to lose time on the job.

If you're just starting out, or an exercise fanatic, try doing a few simple stretching techniques to keep your muscles and joints loose and the blood pumping.

One rule of thumb you might want to remember when it comes to stretching is to do each one for approximately 60 seconds. Also, the 60 seconds can be broken down into 3 to 4 sets per stretching exercise.

If you jog, walk, or swim, try stretching exercises to help limber up your leg muscles such as these:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Iliotibial band
  • Calves
  • Piriformis
  • Psoas
  • Gluteal muscles
  • Groin
  • Spine stretch
  • Lower back

For activities that require repetitive arm movements, try stretching these areas.

  • Standing bicep stretch - Good for your biceps, chest and shoulders
  • Seated bicep stretch - Also good for your biceps, chest and shoulders
  • Doorway bicep stretch - You'll feel this in your chest and biceps
  • Wall bicep stretch - Good for your chest, shoulders and arms
  • Horizontal arm extensions - Great for loosening up the arms
  • Horizontal hand rotations - Another good arm stretching technique, also gently stretches the biceps

There are several videos -- free on the internet -- that can show you the proper technique for each of these stretching exercises. If you have questions concerning stretching and exercising, talk with your local chiropractor to listen to the tips and suggestions they have. Your chiropractor can also demonstrate some of the stretches for you, and may even have material available that can show you step-by-step techniques.

And remember, if you're feeling pain in your back, neck, or joints, your local chiropractor can help you get relief for those as well. Their goal is to help get you back to the healthy and active lifestyle that you deserve.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rockford, Ill.

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