Pictures of People Stretching
Stretching is an essential part of any fitness routine if you want to remain flexible. Warming up before stretching is important as you should never stretch cold muscles statically-- doing so can lead to injury.
Looking at pictures of people stretching can help you see how to perform the stretches correctly. Hold the poses for 20 to 30 seconds and don't bounce.
This Cobra pose is great for the back and arms.
Take slow, steady breaths as you stretch. People sometimes forget to breathe!
As you stretch your arms overhead, feel the movement in your back and side. Lean over to one side and you'll feel the stretch on your opposite side.
For the Legs
You don't have to be a runner to appreciate this stretch.
It's great for stretching the inner thighs as well as the hamstrings. Bend forward as much as you can but not until you feel any pain. If a stretch hurts, don't do it.
Target the muscles on the front of your thighs with this stretch. It's wonderful to do after running, walking, or biking.
Use the wall or a chair to lightly hold onto for balance if needed. Keep your knees even and push your pelvis forward to get a deep quad stretch.
Cool Down Stretch
Commonly used as a cool-down stretch, bringing the arm across the chest helps stretch the shoulder and upper back.
Grab above or below your elbow and drop your shoulder. This stretch isn't as effective if your shoulder is tightened, fighting the stretch.
Stretching the Arms
This stretch targets the triceps and is a good choice for cool-down stretching. It can be part of a relaxing routine for bringing down your heart rate after a cardio workout.
Simply place one arm overhead, bend at the elbow and touch your back. Use the opposite hand to gently press your elbow for a deeper stretch.
Inner Thigh Stretch
This is another inner thigh stretch, done while standing. It targets both the adductors and abductors of the thighs.
On the bent leg, your knee shouldn't extend past your toes. Intensify the stretch by pulling the arm (on the side of your straight leg) up and back, reaching to the other side.
This stretch is similar to a forward bend in yoga and targets the hamstrings, calf muscles, and the back. Flexibility dictates how deeply into the stretch a person can go, but it's a stretch that's effective in releasing post-workout tension in muscles.
If you can tolerate it, try releasing your shoulders and neck in this stretch and allow gravity to lengthen your muscles.
A wrist stretch helps relieve the muscles of the forearm and release tension in the fingers. Don't stretch to the point of pain, but instead until you can feel the stretch.
This twisting stretch helps stretch the lats, the abs, and the shoulders.
Stretches like this on the transverse plane are quite beneficial and typically feel great. Note that twisting stretches may not be appropriate for people with back injuries or osteoporosis.
People sometimes neglect to stretch the calf muscles, preferring to focus on larger muscles like the glutes and hamstrings.
It's important to stretch the calf muscles as well, as tight muscles can be uncomfortable. If bending at the waist makes you dizzy or lightheaded, instead reach for your thigh as you flex your foot.
This is another way to stretch the calf muscles. You can lean against a wall, or as seen here, enjoy the outdoors and use a tree.
If this slideshow of people stretching has motivated you, why not check out pictures of people exercising for even more inspiration?