Stretching warm ups increase flexibility at a fitness bootcamp workout. Maintaining body flexibility is very important in order to maximize effectiveness and to reduce the severity of delayed onset muscle soreness and possibility of injury.
Flexibility is critical when working out because the body is able to move smoothly, thus reducing muscle tension and preventing bodily injury. Here are three highly effective stretching exercises which increase flexibility and are frequently performed during a warm up in the beginning of a fitness bootcamp workout.
Stretching the Hamstrings
The hamstring is the muscle that extends from below the knee into the buttocks. It is responsible for lifting the lower leg and bending the knee after the knees have been lifted by the quadriceps. The hamstring stretch is performed by placing a foot on top of a stationary object near the same height as your waist. Next, lean forward slowly and reach down towards your shin until you can feel the hamstring begin to stretch. After stretching one hamstring, isolate the other by placing the opposite foot on a stationary object and repeating the process.
Stretching the Quadriceps
The quadriceps, also known as the quadriceps femoris muscle, is located in front of the thigh and is crucial for lifting the knees. The quadriceps stretch is performed by placing a hand onto a stationary object to maintain proper balance. Next, use the other hand to grab the part of the leg close to the ankle then slowly lift the leg towards the buttock muscle. This stretch should be held for at least ten seconds, and repeated several times while alternating legs.
Stretching the Calf Muscle
The triceps surae consists of two muscles known as the gastrocnemius and the soleus. These muscles combine and enter the bone of the heel to form the lower leg muscle commonly known as the calf. To stretch the calf muscles, first stand three feet away from a wall. Next, use the left foot to take a step forward and place both hands on the wall in front. The left knee should now be bent slowly to regulate the amount of stretching in the right muscle, while both heels stay planted on the ground. The right knee should be remain stationary, and should be held straight for 15 seconds. The opposite calf can now be stretched by switching legs and repeating the process.
Stretching warm-ups should be performed for a minimum of five to seven minutes before performing high intensity fitness bootcamp workout routines such as circuit training. The muscles will be more efficient due to increased blood flow, the range of motion of joints will improve and the body’s flexibility will increase.
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