It’s easy to skip stretching when you’re rushed after a workout, but you should never nix it from your routine. When you do, you increase risk of injury and chances of developing tight, tense muscles. By performing post-workout stretches, you can actually increase muscle tone and speed up the recovery process. This means your muscles will be capable of working harder the next time you hit the gym. To reap the full benefits of a good workout, add these seven stretches into your cool-down to lengthen, ease, and strengthen your muscles.
1. Cobra stretch
The cobra pose is a yoga stretch that’s especially effective after an abdominal workout. It not only stretches your abs, but also lengthens your spine and helps improve your posture, according to Active.com. Begin by lying on your stomach. Place your hands on the floor by your shoulders, then push up until your arms are straight and your pelvis hovers just above the ground as you lift your head toward the ceiling. Engage your back muscles by keeping your shoulder blades down. Hold this pose for as long as you need.