As someone who practices calisthenics, you should be aware that mobility is a vital component of bodyweight exercise. Some of the calisthenics staples like back bridges, pistol squats, and L-sits all demand a high degree of flexibility. In addition, less obvious exercises like handstands and pull-ups require mobility as well. This is where stretch exercises come in and while practicing the moves, it will help you improve your range of motion. Supplemental stretching can boost your calisthenics game to the next level. Stretching after working out is of utmost importance.
One clear thing is that we all want our workouts to be quick and effective and that is why compound exercises such as squats and push-ups are some of the tools to be used when assembling an effective workout.
There are a couple of reasons to be stretching after a working out:
- Flexibility is critical for many advanced calisthenics moves.
- It helps to prevent nasty chronic tensions by giving the muscles a signal to relax
- After an intense session, stretching after a workout is a perfect way of powering down the nervous system
You have a higher body temperature after a workout and this makes your muscles more flexible during stretching. It is a very bad idea to undergo extreme static stretching before an intense strength training session. This is bad as it can lead to injury rather than prevent it. After workouts, corrective mobility drills help you move around better. To get the best mobility after a workout, below are some stretches that you can do. Follow the seven in a row for two rounds and you will give your whole body a thorough stretch.
1. Forward Fold
This is a very common stretch for the lower back, calves, and hamstrings. If you have L-sits and pistols on your bucket list, this one is going to help you.
From a standing position, allow your big toes to touch each other and the legs are locked out at the knees. Lower your torso, try to pull your chest forward first and do not forget to engage your abs while doing this. Now try to grab your ankles. You may not be able to do this if you are stiff but you may minimally bend at the knees. Now, try to lower your head until it touches the knees.
Eagle is a classic yoga pose, which primarily stretches your deltoids, which is especially neat for learning the elbow lever.
To do this, fold one leg over the other while in a standing position. Hinge at your hips and use your arms to be in a balanced position. Start folding your arms over each other when you have found a stable balance point. It doesn’t matter which one goes over and which goes under; what matters most is that when you switch sides, you should be able to do it with both your legs and your arms. Now, try to touch the palm of the other hand with the hand of the arm that goes under. To deepen the stretch, you can fold your hands into each other. Focus on what is in front of you and keep a straight back.
This offers lots of good stuff – it stretches your hamstrings, obliques, inner thighs, and chest. It also helps to twist your spine a little; it won’t affect you anyway.
To begin, start with your feet more than shoulder-width at a distance with one foot pointing straight ahead and the other angled perpendicular to the side. Visualize the walls directly in front of and behind you. After this, tilt your chest to the side of the angled foot. This will help you to slide your hand along your leg. Ideally, one hand will touch the ground while the other will point straight to the sky. While looking at your hand, keep your neck aligned with your upper body.
4. Deep Lunge
A killer poses to stretch your lower abs, quads and hip flexors. It is great when attempting back bridges shrimp squats, and it is generally a must-do for every desk jockey.
To get started, take a big step forward and get into a lunge. Flatten your rear foot and allow the upper side to touch the ground. Lean forward with an upright torso and press into the ground with the big toe of the rear foot. You can increase the stretch by reaching up and to the side of the front leg. Another thing you can add is to allow your elbow to touch the ground and draw a big happy rainbow around you.
5. Heart Opener
This helps with the handstand line and it is also good for improving the back bridge. Its main function is to stretch the pecs and lats. If you have tight shoulders, then these are excellent for you.
Start on all fours, this makes the hip stays above your knees at all times. Now, at a quick rate, move forward. Try to bring your chest to the ground. Arms are straight and the goal of this is to allow your chin on the ground. You can add a modification to this heart opener by walking your hands to the side. This will strengthen the stretch in the lats and obliques.
6. Twisted Seat
Now that you are already on the ground, stay there and get into a twisted seat. Rotating your spine regularly is a healthy way of improving the health of your spine. This is a killer stretch for your glutes and at the same time, works shoulder mobility. You can do it by grabbing your hands behind your back. You can use one hand to support yourself if you cannot use both hands.
Half-assing is done by grabbing foot behind your butts. This is helpful for bridges and shrimp squats.
To do this, start in a kneeling position and tilt back your torso until it lies on the ground. Allow your arms to go over your head flat on the ground while you press your feet into the ground right beside your hips. To make this pose easier, modify it by starting with feet closer together under your buttocks. You can also raise the resting position of the torso by putting something behind you.
Stretching at the end of a workout with any of the above when your body temperature is already up is better and it will make you feel more relaxed. Stretching can also be a means of warming yourself up. If you do like to stretch as a warm up, you just have to ease in and not push your stretches too far at the start.
By now you should know why it is important to be stretching after working out. Do you stretch after every workout? Please let us know in the comments below and share your reasons for stretching. My reason is to increase my mobility so I can start learn the static calisthenics moves!