Stretching is equally important as your actual workout routine. It will save you from injury due to tight muscles and joints. For example, an upper body stretching routine will loosen up your chest muscles and limbs for better twisting exercise. Stretching, on the other hand, can also be your simple workout session for the day, and if you have a stretching machine, there’s something you should be excited about.
Stretching equipment will allow you to do dozens of stretching variations. If you’re just getting started, here are ten of the easiest routines you can start practicing.
1. Sitting Upper Body Stretch
While sitting on your full body stretching machine, put your hands on the back and start to lean forward. Do this as slowly as possible to avoid overextension in your arm muscles. If you feel a little tightness in your muscles, don’t force it and just add more strain when it starts to soften up. Always keep your arms straight and avoid locking your joints too much.
If you can deepen the lean, your head should reach the gap between your legs. Holding this position for at least 15 seconds will be a simple yet effective way to awaken the sleeping muscles of your back and arms.
2. Inversion Table Routine
If you have an inversion table as stretching equipment, you can maximize it by stretching your arms above your head. Do this from different angles so your spine will also benefit from the stretching. I suggest that you do the first routine first so you won’t overextend your arms and your back will be more flexible.
People with back pain will benefit from this upper body stretching routine and the inversion table itself. The equipment has heating pads that will help soften up tight muscles while removing underlying pains. If you don’t have one, you should consider buying an affordable but durable model.
3. Lower Back Lying Stretch
Using a stretch equipment with a lying pad, lie down and put your feet on the handle or any elevated part. This is just a static pose but it will benefit your lower back with the pressure exerted on it. This is comfortable, non-impact, and very easy to do. Make sure that your legs are forming a 90-degree angle.
If you wake up with an aching back, just lie like this for at least 15 minutes. This routine is very relieving and it can remove leg muscle pain. Even if you don’t have access to your stretching machine, you can use a chair to lift your legs.
4. Glute Stretch
On a sitting position on your stretching equipment, fold your other leg and let it rest on top of the other. Your unfolded leg should be stepping solidly on the foot platform while you hold on the handles. Though easy to look at, it will actually be taxing for people with tight muscles. But if you succeed in doing this, your gluteals and hips will be improving.
You can also put your folded leg under your other leg’s knee. This is if you’re having a hard time putting the folded limb in place during the upper body stretching routine. Hold this for a few seconds then switch legs.
5. Hyperextension Stretch
To improve your back, maximize the handle of your equipment as a way to support your leg as you lie on your tummy. Let your upper thighs rest on the sitting pad while you let your body hang in the air. You can do a lifting motion as if you’re doing inverted sit-ups. This will strengthen your upper and lower body muscles.
Before doing this routine, remember that it will include strenuous stretching. If you have back pains or injuries, it’s not advisable to perform this. But if you’re a healthy nut, you can pair this routine with a dumbbell to carve your biceps.
6. Achilles Stretch
During workout routines, the Achilles heel is prone to injuries. Using your stretching equipment, take time to flex your heels while planting your foot on the footrest. You can also stand on the floor and just use the machine as a support. Put a foot forward and make a striding bend. You should keep your soles flat on the ground.
It’s like making a ‘surfer’ move. You should bend your knees to flex the tendon without putting too much strain on it. Hold every bend for 15 seconds then switch legs after four reps. This will help you during an upper body stretching routine.
7. Calf Stretch
With the same standing position as the Achilles Stretch, place your foot on a slanted part of the machine. This should be near the ground, as you don’t want to tax your hamstrings too much. With toes pointed upwards, slowly lean forward without lifting your heels off the ground.
Don’t forget to alternate with the other foot. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds and repeat it three times for each foot. If you don’t have access to your machine, you can use a folding chair or wall as support.
8. Band Stretch
While sitting on your stretching machine, grab a towel and put it on your foot like a resistance band. Your leg should be bent so you can reach the towel without overexerting your arms. Plant your heel on the handle or any elevated part of the machine and start pulling the towel. Alternate the pull with the right-left direction so your soles will have a massage like stretching.
You can also do this routine to stretch your legs. Just sit with your legs straightened in front of you. Put the towel on your soles then start the alternate pulling. You should keep your legs straight without locking joints. You may also need to lean forward a bit.
9. Front splits
If you have a reclining stretching machine, you just have to lie on it and lift your leg as if you’re doing a front split. Remember that you shouldn’t force yourself just to nail a splitting position. You can simply stretch the legs alternately as part of the upper body stretching routine.
You can also lie on the floor and use a part of the equipment as a restraint on your leg during the split.
10. Inner Thigh and Groin Stretch
Using the kneepad of your equipment, lift your legs and let the feet rest on the upholstery. You should be doing an Indian sit position but with soles touching each one. Reach for the handle of the equipment and lean back a bit so there’s tension on your legs, arms, and lower back.
Make sure that you’re holding the handles of the equipment and not just using a wristband or a towel. You shouldn’t let go of it while stretching.
Don’t have a stretching machine yet? Check this out!
Each routine here can be done using different machines. But if you want to nail the upper body stretching routine, it’s high time that you consider getting the tried and tested PRECOR 240I COMMERCIAL SERIES STRETCH TRAINER. Built and purpose wise, this is worth every cent of its price. So what’s in the package? Here it is:
Compact yet durable design
With dimensions 52 x 28 x 36 inches, it’s hard to think how this equipment can stretch your entire body. Thanks to its genius biomechanics and stabilized design, you can flex every muscle from head to toe. This is made from commercial quality steel as well as comfortable upholstery.
Aside from the routines I listed here, you can also maximize a set of stretching exercises on the instructional placard installed in the Precor 240i. It has routines that will target different muscle areas in the body.
A stretch trainer!
Be it in the office, home, or gym, this Precor Stretch machine will be loved by anyone who will step on it. It has a silver metal finish and cushion on the frame so it won’t scrape the floor. The handles are well covered with soft material to avoid too much friction in the palms.
Doing upper body stretching routine or other exercises will be more efficient with the help of equipment like the Precor 240i. Paired with the right routines, your muscles will be stronger and loose for the future workout or the day’s activities. Which of the routines I mentioned earlier did you like the most? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!