Warm Up Stretches
1. Squat to Crawl (6-8 Reps)
This is a great dynamic movement which targets many facets of exercise, such as: Hip mobility; Core activation and Shoulder strength/stability. Many people struggle with their squat ability due to modern living habits. By combining squats with another a fundamental movement pattern - Crawling (literally everyone’s first way of getting from A to B), this exercise enables you to spend time in a deep squat position, mobilising the hips through their full ranges of motion as you move between positions.
2. Cat / Camels (8-10 Reps)
3. World’s Greatest Stretch (WGS) - 3 mins cycle
As suggested by its slightly exaggerated name, the WGS is a favourite for many Fitness professionals and can be found at the start of numerous Strength and Conditioning programs.The combination of dynamic exercises ticks all the key points on our “check list” of areas which tend to get a little stiff from hours of sitting at a desk, WGS works by creating a body flow that mobilises the ankles, hips and thoracic spine.
WGS is also a great way to engage the central nervous system. Creating a connection between the brain and body is essential when working out as this ensures you make the most of your session.With your muscles fired up correctly, you’ll find an improvement in movement coordination resulting in an increased range of motion whilst decreasing risk of injury.
Cool Down Stretches
4. Lying Glute Stretch
I begin by starting with one of the largest and most central muscle groups in the body - the glutes.Having tight glutes can cause problems all over the body, but particularly the lower back. Keeping your glutes and hamstrings loose will also go some way to taking tension off your knees.
5. Kneeling Quad Stretch
This stretch works on the muscles located at the front of the body as it opens the Hip flexors which works on reversing the effects of sitting for most of the day.When trying to progress this stretch you may find yourself shifting your hips forward, the key is to try and keep your pelvis neutral avoiding compression of the lower back (hold onto something sturdy if you need to).
6. Kneeling Chest Stretch
Leon is an accredited coach with the NSCA. Leon coaches a wide variety of athletes, from professional to recreational level. His professional work includes two seasons at AFC Wimbledon.