Stretching is the bane of every man’s existence. Well, that along with doing the dishes and folding laundry.
It just seems so useless and boring. But it’s not. The top three reasons you should stretch are:
- Increased flexibility and joint range of motion
- Improved posture
- Reduced risk of injury
Luckily I have a nifty little routine that will make it quick and painless, and also double as a good warm up. This is crucial because it forces you to stretch bit each time you work out – no more forgetting.
Perform the following eight moves every time before you work out. They focus on lower body and hip mobility, because that’s where most guys struggle. Poor hip mobility can lead to lower back pain, poor form, and a generally tough time moving around.
All you need to perform the warm up is a foam roller and about five minutes.
Note: Full credit for the following routine goes to Joe DeFranco of DefrancosTraining.com.
1. Foam Roll IT Band (30 seconds per side)
Position yourself on your side with the foam roller beneath your lower leg. Roll down to the knee and up to the hip. Go slowly and rest on any trigger points (tender spots) for 10 seconds.
2. Foam Roll Piriformis/Glutes (30 seconds per side)
Position yourself seated on the foam roller and cross one leg over the opposite knee. Roll the upper butt/lower back area of the side whose leg is crossed over. Go slowly and rest on any trigger points (tender spots) for 10 seconds.
3. Foam Roll Adductors (30 seconds per side)
Position yourself prone on top of the foam roller with one leg straight behind you and the other bent at a 90 degree angle and on top of the foam roller. Using your elbows, roll back and forth between the knee and the groin. Go slowly and rest on any trigger points (tender spots) for 10 seconds.
4. Rollovers into V-Sits (10 reps)
Sit down and then fall back, allowing your feet to come overhead and touch the ground behind you, then roll forward and end with your legs spread apart and your hands touching your toes.
5. Fire Hydrants (10 forward circles/10 backward circles per side)
Position yourself facing down on your hands and knees. Then lift one knee from the floor and make ten big circles, bringing your knee all the way up to your chest, out to the side, and then back behind you. Then switch directions and make ten big circles going the opposite direction.
6. Mountains Climbers (20 reps)
Start in a push up position with one foot outside of and next to the hand on the same side of your body. Then jump and switch, bringing that foot back and the other foot forward to the other hand.
7. Groiners (10 reps)
Start in a push up position and then jump both hands forward so that they land outside of your hands. Then jump back to the push up position.
8. Hip Flexor Stretch (3 sets of 10 seconds per leg)
Kneeling with your torso upright, lean forward so that you feel a stretch next to the groin, where your leg meets your hip.