Stretching should become a regular routine for everyone, not just for professional athletes who already understand the benefits associated with performing a sequence of muscle stretches.
Some of these benefits of warm up stretches are physically apparent, such as a greater range of movement; while others can’t be seen, but are felt from within, such as an increased feeling of relaxation and general well being.
Once you can see and feel the benefits of something, it is much easier to stay motivated and to continue with it, stretching your muscles prior and after your workout / sport will assist you in greater performance and reduce injury.
How to Warm Up Properly
Hold each warm-up stretch for a minimum of 20-30 seconds, breathing slowly through your nose, aiming to exhale out through your mouth as you ease into the stretch.
Again we have graded the stretches for you to give you some guidance on the degree of difficulty for each set of warm-up exercise below.
Remember the most important thing about stretching your muscles, especially prior to exercise, is the warm-up. Cold muscles simply don't stretch, you have spend time getting the blood flowing through your muscles by performing a minimum of 5 - 10 minutes aerobic work.
If possible try and make the warm up similiar to the activity your about to embark on, for example some light jogging prior to going for a run.
The following pages have clear pictures to show you how to perform each stretch for all your major muscle groups, or simply click on the smaller images below.