We all know the pain of muscle soreness the day after a hard workout when it seems impossible to even get out of bed. Feeling sore is normal — in fact, it’s called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and occurs when we work out muscles that aren’t used to being worked out. Many of us may use soreness as an excuse to not work out, but we all know that’s a copout. However, you don’t want to push your limits too much because that could lead to further muscle damage. Here 5 Stretches for Sore Muscles:
1) Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
This stretch will open up your hip flexors and help loosen up your short, tight muscle. You’ll want to kneel down on your left knee with your right foot on the floor and your right knee bent 90 degrees. Reach up with your right hand as high as you can (A). Bend your torso to your right (B). Rotate your torso to the right as you reach with your right hand as far behind you as you can. Hold this position for 30 seconds (C). Kneel on your right knee, switch arms, and repeat. That’s one rep.
2) Wall Slide
This move will increase blood flow to your upper body. The more blood flow your muscles receive, the less sore they’ll become. You’ll want to lean your head, upper back and butt against the wall. Place your hands and arms against the wall in a high five position, your elbows bent 90 degrees and your upper arms at shoulder height (A). Keeping your elbows, wrists and hands pressed into the wall, slide your elbows down toward your sides as far as you can. Squeeze your shoulder blades together (B). Slide your arms back up the wall as high as you can while keeping your hands in contact with the wall (C). That’s one rep. Lower and repeat.
This yoga pose will stretch your abs, chest and shoulders and leave your muscles feeling way better than they felt before. Lie on your yoga mat on your stomach with your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Breathe deeply into the stretch and lift your head and torso up off the mat into a backbend. Make sure your elbows are in at your waist. Exhale while slowly lowering yourself back into starting position. Make sure your forehead is touching the mat. That’s one rep.
4) Reclined Spinal Rotation
This yoga pose will stretch out your spine more than you thought was possible, and it will feel heavenly. You’ll want to lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest. Keep your thighs together. Keeping your knees together, drop your legs to the right so that your outer right thigh rests on the floor. Keep the legs together and the knees flush as you roll your chest open in the opposite direction to create a twist in the spine. Breathe deeply and use a strong exhalation to deepen the twist. Hold for 60 to 90 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
5) Reclined Hamstring Stretch
This stretch is perfect for getting those hamstrings feeling loose again. You’re going to need a yoga strap or resistance band handy for this one. Lie flat on your back. Hug your right knee into your chest. Straighten your left leg so the heel is directly in line with left hip and the toes face the ceiling. Loop the yoga strap over the bottom of your right foot and straighten the leg up to the sky so that the right leg is perpendicular to the floor. If the right leg won’t go to 90 degrees, don’t worry! Bring the leg up as high as you can while keeping it straight. Breathe deeply and easily and work to intensity but not pain. Hold for 60 to 90 seconds. Repeat on the other side.