In a previous article we discussed the benefits and examples of post warm-up lower limb stretches. Leading on from this, we will talk about examples of upper limb stretches and how they can be beneficial to your sport and exercise routines…
What IS the difference?
Post warm-up stretches are very different compared to static stretches. Post warm-up stretches are meant to get the body moving and blood flowing to muscles groups to help aid performance in sport and exercise. This, therefore, means these stretches aren’t held for any length of time. Instead, these stretches include movement such as doing lunges with a torso twist added. Whereas static stretches on the other hand are where muscles are extended and held for a short length of time usually between 30 seconds to a minute. An example of a static stretch can be a triceps stretch.
WHY are they beneficial?
Post warm-up stretching can be used before the start of any exercise routine after completing an initial warm-up. It can help warm up the body and prep the muscles for movement and exertion. Post warm-up stretches can also help aid in performance improvement in sport and exercise and can also help in reducing the risk of overall injury.
Examples of UPPER LIMB post warm-up stretches
- Arm Circles – These exercises help stretch out the shoulder muscles especially the rotator cuff muscles. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms at the sides. Keeping the arms straight, move them around in big circles going forward. Repeat 15- 20x and then switch directions.
- Shoulder Circle Shrugs – Shoulder Circle Shrugs help to stretch out the trapezius muscles which is the muscle found on the top of the shoulders. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms at sides. Keeping the arms straight, shrug the shoulders in big forward circles. Repeat 15-20x and then switch directions.
- Arm Hugs – This stretch should be performed standing, quickly alternate between hugging the chest and reaching the arms out to the sides, opening and closing your chest. Repeat for between 15-20x.
- Plank Walk Out – Start in the standing position. Drop down to hands and walk the arms out into a plank position. This can be performed as a push up or simply walk back to standing after the plank. Repeat for 10 reps.