So you ran a 5K or put 30 minutes of weight work in, but did you stretch?
It’s not a new tip, and easy to incorporate pre or post-workout, at the office, or even right after you wake up, but it’s often the most forgotten says Nike master trainer Eva Redpath.
“Stretching is usually skipped over because people think they don’t have enough time but I also think people don’t know what stretches to consider,” Redpath says. “Stretching is a good way of taking personal inventory; you become really aware of little aches and pains in your body.”
One of her favourite stretches is the Sun Salutation. There are nine moves in this one stretch working the body from head to toe, allowing you to check in with your body before going into any workout.
“ A lot of people know Sun Salutation and it’s one of those sequences that once you do it a few times it becomes muscle memory and you can tune out of your mind and tune into your body,” Redpath says.
A good tip is to start incorporating the stretch even before you think about brushing your teeth. Make some space around your bed and start your day off with a salute to the sun; this will not only condition your body to the stretch, but it also helps your mind relax and helps build your daily routine.
The best part of this stretch is it can also take you to post-workout.
“It helps you feel what your workout did for you and how your flexibility has increased,” Redpath says. “People don’t understand the benefits of stretching in that it’s about injury prevention; if you have accessibility to flexibility it makes a lot of your workouts easier.”
Studio workouts, such as barre, pilates and of course yoga, offer the best environments and movements to not only increase flexibility and range of motion, but set up the body for high intensity workouts.
“You work at a generally slower pace and really become aware of your body, which allows you to jump in to those gym workouts,” Redpath says.
“I think a lot of injuries comes from when doing all these plyometric jumps, or high intensity moves and we don’t know what our knees are doing, or should be doing, you go back to that barre class you’re bare feet you know how it feels, you’re moving through your body and know how things work – that sets you up for those intense workouts.”
To make the studio classes more challenging, call out your friends, or even, Redpath herself.
“The best way to intensify your workout is to set goals around it and manageable ones,” she said.
“Tell your friends, set up a little shopping reward after, community is the way to do it, put it on social media, let me know about it, I’ll tweet you back.”
Tip: For a good stretch, Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath suggests Leah Kim’s 15 minute Solar Power Yoga Workout found in Nike Training Club app (The N+TC App). The app also allows you to set up a customized, four-week challenge based on what goals you want to reach. Visit Nike.com for more.