Some muscles tend to shorten, while others tend to weaken. It is therefore essential to know which muscles should be stretched and which ones should be strengthened.

Our daily habits, such as sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time, create muscle imbalances or disharmonies. While imbalances alter the quality of movement because the flexor is too strong and the extensor too weak or vice versa, the disharmonies affect an entire functional chain, from head to toe. When a muscle in a muscle chain is shortened, this also affects the tension of the other muscles and, in the worst case, can cause the entire chain to become unbalanced.

 MUSCLES ARE NOT ALL THE EQUAL

In our body, we can roughly distinguish two types of fibers: on the one hand the tonic muscles, which have a supporting function and tend to shorten, and on the other, the phasic muscles, which are instead responsible for movement and tend to weaken. Tonic muscles need to be stretched by constantly training flexibility, while phasic ones need stability and strength through regular strengthening work.

When training mobility, make sure that the muscles are stimulated and cared for according to their characteristics. This specifically means that the following toned muscles need to be stretched through mobility training. The most important exercises are listed below.

  • Hip flexor
  • Lumbar musculature
  • Nape-chest-shoulder muscles
  • Front and back muscles of the legs

Instead, the following phasic muscles need to be strengthened. Here you will find the most important exercises.

  • Deep neck muscles
  • Back and chest muscles
  • Abs
  • Leg extensor chain: gluteus, quadriceps, calf
  • Small muscles of hands and feet

THE IMPORTANCE OF DOSAGE

Done once a week, the exercises help to maintain one’s mobility, while done 2-3 times they specifically improve it. The best thing is to do the exercises after a warm-up run or after training.

Each stretch should be maintained for 20-60 seconds, increasing the intensity after 2 or 3 breaths.

THE 6 BEST STRETCHING EXERCISES

  1. CALF

How it works: Walk in slow motion in place, extending the entire back leg. The heel is pulled towards the back, while the knee of the other leg is in the air.

Focus: long back chain, stable bust.

Procedure:

– After the warm-up jog: slow walk 1 minute, calves stretched in dynamic alternation, from 1 to 2 series.

– After training: walk in slow motion in place for 2 or 3 minutes, stay in the extended position for 10 seconds. 1 to 2 series.

  1. BACK MUSCLES OF THE THIGH

How it works: stand straight with your feet parallel, stretch your spine well keeping it as straight as possible. Tilt the torso forward starting from the hip joint keeping the back straight.

BACK MUSCLES OF THE THIGH

Focus: straight back.

Procedure:

– After the warm-up run: stretch slowly and dynamically 3 to 5 times. Switch sides. 1 to 3 series.

– After training: remain in the stretch position for 20-30 seconds, intensify after 2 or 3 breaths. Switch sides, 1 to 2 sets.

  1. BUTTOCKS

How it works: 3 steps:

  1. While standing, bend the right leg and place the right foot on the left thigh.
  2. Lower yourself slowly as if sitting in a chair.
  3. Push the ischium (the part of the pelvis on which you lean on when you sit down) backward and upwards.
BUTTOCKS
BUTTOCKS

Focus: elongated spine, straight neck.

Procedure:

– After the warm-up run: stretch slowly and dynamically 3 to 5 times. 1 to 3 series.

– After training: remain in the stretch position for 20-30 seconds, intensify after 2 or 3 breaths. Switch sides, 1 to 2 sets.

  1. ADDUCTORS

How it works: Side lunge with feet pointing forward. Move the pelvis and trunk perpendicular to the left foot.

ADDUCTORS

Focus: the very straight spine.

Procedure:

– After the warm-up run: slowly and dynamically stretch the right and left sides 3 to 5 times. 1 to 3 series.

– After training: remain in the stretch position for 20-30 seconds, intensify after 2 or 3 breaths. Switch sides, 1 to 2 sets.

  1. LATERAL ROTATION OF THE SIDE

LATERAL ROTATION OF THE SIDE

How it works: 3 steps:

  1. Cross your legs: right in front of left.
  2. Move the extended left arm diagonally and upwards. The head must be the extension of the spine.
  3. Pull the left arm higher with the right hand and intensify the stretch.

Focus: side opening.

Procedure:

– After the warm-up run: slowly and dynamically stretch the right and left sides 3 to 5 times. 1 to 3 series.

– After training: remain in the stretch position for 20-30 seconds, intensify after 2 or 3 breaths. Switch sides, 1 to 2 sets.

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