Any time you exercise, you should prepare by stretching first. When your muscles are cold and tight, it's much easier to injure them during exercise. Stretching helps you loosen up, increases your safe range of motion, and ensures you'll have fewer injuries and a quicker recovery. While the specific stretches you should do depend on what you'll exercise at the gym or during your at home workout, below are a few basics to use every time. How to Stretch Before Using the Gym
1. Arm Stretches
Raise your arms straight out to the sides, then make circles by moving them from the shoulder, circling both forward and backward. Next, put one arm across your chest at shoulder level and use the opposite hand to slowly pull it closer to your body, then repeat with the other arm. Finally, raise both of your arms horizontally and keep raising them until they're above your head, hold them there for a few seconds, then lower them. These stretches ensure your shoulders are ready to take on the workout, which helps to avoid painful complications. 2. Torso Stretches
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and put your hands on your waist. Turn your torso as far as you can in each direction without moving your feet, keeping your hips facing forward. Then spread your arms out to the sides, hands open and thumb upward, and put your arms as far back as they'll go, then bring them together in front of you. Doing this will loosen your chest and gut muscles to prepare you for a core workout. 3. Leg Stretches
Perform a forward lunge by placing one foot in front of you with the knee bent and the other leg straight behind you with your heal on the ground, then leaning forward onto your front foot. Repeat this on both sides. Next, sit on the floor or prop one leg up on a table or bench, straighten your leg, and pull your toes back toward your body. Lean as far as you can to grab your leg or foot with your hands. Both of these stretches work your hamstrings and quadriceps, which are essential for movement. For more advice from a personal trainer about how to improve your athletic development and make the most of your gym time, choose Phoenix A+ Coaching in St. Louis, MO. Serving St. Louis County, they offer one-on-one training, semi-private classes and gym groups, and a full range of training equipment. Call (314) 449-1172 with any questions or visit the website today for more information about their services.