Not all your exercise should be focused on how many calories you can burn. Flexibility exercises are very important because your muscles are going to be able to do a lot more as you lose weight and there is less stress on your joints.
The best flexibility exercises are all based on stretching out and warming-up muscles. Flexibility exercises should be done gently before any aerobic workout you do in order to get the most from your workout.
Start with the head, neck, arms and shoulders. Feel your muscles stretch out and stretch until you are right before the point of any kind of discomfort. After repeating each stretch a couple of times move down your body to stretch your lower torso and legs.
- Neck Stretch – Bend your head to one side and hold it there. Swap sides.
- Shoulder Stretch – Bring one arm across the front of your body at chest height, holding it in place at your elbow with your other hand. Pull it in towards your chest. Swap sides.
- Triceps Stretch – Place your hand in the centre of your upper back with your fingers pointing downwards, and gently push your bent elbow back with your free hand. Swap sides.
- Back stretch – Link your hands in front of your body and push your arms forward, rounding your back as you do so and stretching it out.
- Side Stretch – Lean to one side so that your hand slides down your leg, while keeping your hips facing forward. Swap sides.
- Quadriceps Stretch – While standing, bend your leg behind you, take hold of your ankle, and pull it up to your buttocks. Feel a stretch in the front of your thigh.
- Hamstring Stretch – Stand with your feet flat on the floor, placing one leg straight out in front. Bend the back leg and lean forward, until you feel a stretch in the back of your front thigh.
- Calf Stretch – Take a large step forward. Bend your front leg slightly, keeping your back heel down and feel a stretch in your back calf muscle.
- Hip Stretch – Lunge forward with one leg, bending your front knee. Feel a stretch along your front hip.
- Groin Stretch – Sit on the floor with your back straight. Place the soles of your feet together and lean forward, feeling a stretch down your thighs.
Stretches should be relaxed and not rushed. Feel your muscles and get used to the feelings your body has and what your body is telling you. Getting back in touch with your muscles and how your body is feeling is a great step to enjoying your new lifestyle.