As either a budding or experienced bodybuilder, you’re likely aware that stretching is of the utmost importance. Stretching increases your flexibility and range of motion, leading to the ability to lift heavier amounts in a safe way. But do you know which stretches are the most beneficial for you and your gains goals?
This blog runs you through the 6 best stretches for bodybuilders and explains how a physiotherapist can assist with these to aid in your fitness journey. For further information or to book an appointment, contact our experienced team at StudioXPhys today.
How Does Stretching Help With Bodybuilding?
If you’re just starting out with bodybuilding, you may be wondering how stretching can help with your specific goals. And for those more familiar with lifting, a refresher course certainly can’t hurt!
Any athlete— no matter their experience or lack thereof— can benefit greatly from performing stretches prior to and after training. A 2015 study found that easing your body and muscles into certain stretches prepares them for the lifting you’re about to do, decreasing your chance of injury. This is because stretching allows blood and oxygen to circulate effectively, keeping your joints and muscles healthy. In addition, stretching improves your flexibility which in turn helps you to lift deeper.
However, it’s crucial that you perform the correct stretches in order to safely reach your goals. A physiotherapist can be of great assistance in finding the right stretches for your body to get the most out of your workouts.
The 6 Best Stretches for Bodybuilders
Before you begin stretching, spend a couple of minutes doing a warm up exercise such as high knees, star jumps, or lunges (or a combination of these) to loosen up your muscles.
Child’s Pose (Low Back Stretch)
Even if you’re unfamiliar with yoga, you most likely know this stretch! Kneel on the floor and place your hands on the floor in front of you so that you’re on all fours. Without moving your hands or knees, lean back so that your rear is hovering above your heels. If you have any pain, feel free to use a pillow or yoga block to prop up your hips.
Downward and Upward Dog
Get into a push up position on the floor, resting on your hands and toes. Straighten your arms so that your behind is in the air as high as it can go, keeping your arms and legs straight. To transform your downward dog into an upward dog, gently bring your chest towards the floor and use your palms to slowly stretch your chest out in front of you, with your hips parallel to the floor or mat.
Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, keeping your feet flat on the ground. Squat down without moving your feet until your heels start to come up on their own. At this point, stop and come back up. Throughout this stretch, keep your chest up and gently push your knees apart with your elbows to open up your groin and hips.
This one really is as fun as it sounds, plus is great for your core! Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight back and your arms straight in front of your head. At the same time, raise your arms and legs as high as you can comfortably while keeping them extended straight. Lower them back to the ground, and repeat for three sets of 10 reps.
Hip and Groin Opener
This stretch works as a shoulder opener as well as a hip and groin opener. However, if you’re not used to this one, try it little by little each day until you’re accustomed to it. Using the same position as the deep squat, take your left hand and put it on top of your left foot, pushing your left knee out with your left elbow. Put your right arm up and back, hold for five or six breaths, and repeat with the other side.
Lie flat on the floor with both legs straight out in front of you. Using a rolled up towel, yoga strap, or similar, place it around one foot and pull the ends towards you with your hands. This will slowly lift your leg upwards to point towards the sky. Keep your back straight, and when you feel the gentle stretch, hold your position for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat with the opposite side.
Looking for a Physiotherapist to Help With Your Stretches?
A qualified physiotherapist is trained in teaching others how to do these stretches— and more— safely and effectively, so you can reach your fitness goals and feel your best. At StudioXPhys we have experienced physiotherapists based at our locations in Mudgeeraba and Hope Island, serving the Gold Coast community. To book an appointment, give us a call or book online today.