Best Stretches for Swimmers, Bikers, Runners, and Gardeners
Summer has arrived, and that means you’re going to spend lots of time in the great outdoors, enjoying your favorite activities. You might spend your days swimming, biking, or running, or maybe you prefer to do a little gardening. You might even find yourself engaged in a friendly game of pickup basketball or flag football this summer. Regardless of what activity you choose, stretch before you begin, so you won’t end up with an injury. Use these dynamic stretches to get loose before you engage in summer activities.
Hinge and Reach
The hinge and reach stretch is an excellent way to prepare for your favorite summer activity. Relax your arms at your sides and spread your feet, so they are even with your hips. Your palms should face in toward your body. Bend your knees slightly while straightening your spine. Using your hips as a hinge, stretch your arms in front of you. Move your hips to move into a standing position while swinging your arms, so they are behind you. Then repeat this stretch 10 times.
Now, it’s time to move to the side lunge. Start in a standing position with your feet next to each other. Take a step to the side with your left foot, bending at the knee. Place your foot on the ground and then step back to your starting position. Do 10 repetitions before switching to the other foot.
Straight-leg Lateral Swing
Walk over to your nearest wall and place your hands on it, shoulder-width apart. Keep your left foot on the ground while raising your right leg. Swing it like a pendulum across your body 12 times. Put it down and switch legs.
Most people don’t know about this stretch, but it’s perfect for stretching out your shoulders. Lie face down on the ground with your arms at your sides and your palms facing toward the sky. Your arms and hands should be in the air, above your hips. Once you’re in position, swing your arms until they go past your head. As you do this, rotate your palms, so they face down. Go back to your starting position and repeat the stretch 12 times and then rest. Then go through it once again.
Dynamic Side Lunge
The dynamic side lunge will help you stay injury-free while enjoying some summer fun. Begin with your feet apart and your toes pointing out. Shift your weight to the right, crouching down to get into a lunge position. Straighten the right leg and point the toes up. Then move to the next side. Do this for 30 seconds each time. You’ll feel the burn when you are done, but your body will also be ready to enjoy some activities.
Lower Back Knee Drop
Does your back tend to bother you after engaging in some summer fun? The lower back knee drop will stretch out your lower back, so you are less likely to experience discomfort. Sit down on the ground and bend your knees. Your heels should be flat on the ground. Put the palms of your hands down behind you, with your fingers facing your body. Bend your elbows just enough so they don’t lock up. Move both your knees to the left and hold the position for 30 seconds. Then go to the opposite side. That will complete one set. Complete two sets and you’ll be good to go.
Stay Safe This Summer
Summer is a time for fun, but you can also get injured. Avoid suffering injuries by doing these dynamic stretches. You’ll be warmed up and ready for whatever activity comes your way.