4 Post-Workout Stretches -- Personal Training Session

Cynthia Dermody

cat stretching on bench
Flickr photo by nagillum
Taylor Ryan, head trainer for The Art of Weight Lifting and the Charleston, South Carolina-based Fat Blasting Boot Camps for Moms is The Stir's personal trainer, here each week to help us get in shape.

She'll be back with a new video next week, but today she explains the 4 great stretches we should all be doing after every workout. The whole routine is only five minutes.

Stretching has so many great benefits, Taylor explains. It helps with flexibility but it also helps blood get to your muscles after a workout, promoting faster recovery after weight training, easing soreness, and bringing down heart rate.

Don't stretch before working out -- it can actually increase your risk of injury.

Hold each of the following moves for 20 seconds.

1. One-legged seat squat

Grab a pole, exercise machine, or piece of furniture for balance. Lift one leg up to create a "4" and sit back as if sitting low into a chair. Hold on for balance and push your hips and butt further down to feel a great stretch. This is great for the hips, tush and quads!

2. Stability ball shoulder roll

Sit on your knees with a stability ball out in front. Place your arms on the ball and roll out. Pull your shoulder blades together and your chest down to get a full stretch in the arms, shoulders and chest.

3. Rainbow

This is one of my favorites for stretching out the outer portion of your back. Sit on the floor with your legs open in a straddle (straight and out to the sides). Cross your left arm over in front of you, then lean over to your left side with your right arm held up. Reach over as if you're left ear is trying to touch your left leg. Switch sides.

4. Butterfly

Our hips are often too tight from sitting all day -- this classic move will help.Sit on the ground with your legs bent and your feet together in front. Take a deep breath and try to lower your chest towards your toes. You can first try to make your nose
touch your toes, but aim for your chest ... at the same time push your
knees down.

As always, these are just general recommendations. Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

More Taylor workouts to try:

Bent-Over Rows

Dips for Women on the Go

Tighten Core, Get Sexy Shoulders  

Tighten Core Like an Olympic Athlete

Push-Up Up Downs

Double Lunges

Also see ...

How to Buy a Stability Ball

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