Stretching is an essential component to any effective exercise plan. I recommend stretching at the end of each workout to:
1. Improve flexbility
2. Improve full range of motion of our bodies joints
3. Decrease DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
4. Provide yourself a smooth transition from strenuous exercise to a normal heart rate
I also engage in stretching on my ACTIVE RECOVERY* days. I never engage in strenuous activity on Sunday- for me personally, Sunday is my day for rest and recovery and the opportunity to take a break from hitting it hard with exercise on the other 6 days of the week. Depending on the work load of the week, I sometimes take a second active recovery day during the middle of the week. On Sunday I will run through this stretching routine provided below (and often add additional stretches to it, depending on which muscle groups feel most tight).
For a simple total-body stretching routine, hold each of the stretches below for 20 seconds each.
* As a general rule, exercise qualifies as active recovery if you feel better after exercising compared to before you started.