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Stretching Program Before you work out, you have to stretch. Right? Actually, the best time for stretches - particularly

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Stretching Program Before you work out, you have to stretch. Right? Actually, the best time for stretches - particularly the more demanding ones - is after circuit training or a cardio workout, when your muscles and ligaments are warm from exercise. This binder includes a series of easy-tohold stretches in which each joint stays within its normal range of motion and under your active control. This allows your muscles and ligaments to stretch around the joint safely and effectively. If you’re patient and disciplined, this stretching program will significantly enhance your flexibility.

The ABCs of Stretching In general, it’s best to stretch the largest muscles first, and then move to the smaller muscles. But if you’re particularly stiff in a certain area, you may start there. Focus on the muscle you’re stretching. Take it to the point where you feel mild to moderate discomfort, then hold the stretch for at least 15 seconds. (For a muscle that’s particularly stiff, you may hold the stretch for up to 60 seconds.) Once a position feels comfortable, stretch another fraction of an inch until you again feel mild to moderate discomfort. Make sure your breathing is normal - don’t hold your breath. Do your best to relax the area you’re stretching as well as the rest of your body. Never “bounce” during a stretch! Your movements always should be slow and controlled to prevent injury. Just ease into the stretch and hold the position.

Stretch for 15 to 20 Minutes That’s how long it should take you to complete all the stretches we show in this binder. If you like, you may repeat the routine, holding each stretch for only a few seconds. You’ll notice that you’re more limber the second time. Although this is a thorough stretching program, some stretches that you’re familiar with may not be included. That’s because we also want to accommodate your busy schedule. As with the rest of the RealResults fitness program, our goal is to help you make the most of the time you’re able to spend working out.

Be Consistent and Progressive As with circuit training and cardio workouts, being consistent and progressive is essential to effective stretching. You should stretch every time you exercise to get the results you want. If you’re inconsistent, your flexibility will be limited and you’ll always be starting over as a beginner. Try to achieve the “goal stretches” shown in the illustrated stretching routines in this binder. Remember, if you don’t challenge yourself by continually setting new performance goals, you’re just going through the motions. You can even

stretch on the days you don’t work out, although not with the same degree of intensity. Just make sure that you do a moderately intense, five- to 10-minute cardio warm-up first. When you break a light sweat, you’re ready to stretch.

1

Dynamic warm-ups

Front-to-back Kick-through

Know Your Own Limits You need to determine your own limits and beware of over-stretching. Some discomfort is to be expected, but if you feel pain, stop! If you need help learning or performing a stretch, ask your trainer for assistance.

Try these dynamic stretches to warm up before your cardio workout! 1. Stand upright with left side of body next to wall. Place left hand on wall about shoulder height.

Frequency: To be completed after each workout 2. With left knee slightly bent, gently swing left leg up to abdomen height, then back. Continue for 12-16 repetitions. Duration: 15-20 minutes 3. Switch legs and repeat. Intensity: Hold each stretch for 15−60 seconds

Remain upright throughout the movement — don’t lean forward or back.

Why Stretch? Many people dislike stretching - probably because they’re so stiff! But once you make progress in your stretching program, you may come to enjoy it. You must be willing to get out of your comfort zones in order to improve. This “credo” is the same with stretching just as with cardio and circuit training. You’re hard work will pay off greatly. Greater flexibility helps you prevent injury by increasing your range of motion. And this increased range of motion will in turn allow you to train harder example: You’re on the treadmill and decide to raise the incline level to speed up your heart rate. Unfortunately, the muscles in your shins or calves begin to tighten up because your hamstrings aren’t as flexible as they should be. Although you feel ready to proceed to a more intense cardio workout, your stiffness is holding you back. Here’s another reason to stretch after every workout. If you continue to exercise but don’t stretch, you may tighten up even more - which can increase your chances of injury

Stretching Program | www.realresultsfitness.com

www.realresultsfitness.com | Stretching Program

2

Dynamic warm-ups

Side-to-side kick-through

1. Stand upright three feet away from wall. Place both hands on wall about shoulder height and shoulder-width apart.

1

Lower Body

Lying Rear-end Stretch

1. Lie on your back. Place left ankle on right thigh, just above knee. 2. Pull both legs toward chest. Keep back straight.

2. Gently swing left leg up to nine o’clock position, then out to three o’clock position. 3. Continue for 12-16 repetitions. Switch legs and repeat. Stay slightly loose in your posture. Let your hips swivel/turn as you swing your leg from side to side. Slowly and gently increase the height and speed of your movements to prevent pain and to maintain control.

3. Reach behind right leg and clasp hands on top of right shin. 4. Move your left leg as close as you can toward your chest. Hold for 15-60 seconds. 5. Switch legs and repeat. tip: If

you can’t grab your shin with both hands, grab your hamstring instead. If you’re too stiff to keep your back straight, you may arch your back slightly.

Goal stretch

Recommended Stretches | www.realresultsfitness.com

www.realresultsfitness.com | Stretching Program

2

Lower Body

Leveraged Rear-end Stretch

3

Lower Body

Inner Thigh Stretch (Feet Together)

1. Get on hands and knees. (A)

1. Sit on floor with back straight.

2. Place right foot in front of left knee so that outside of right leg completely touches floor. (B)

2. Pull both feet toward groin so that knees extend to left and right. 3. Touch soles of feet together and hold ankles.

3. Slide left leg directly back so that leg is straight. (C) Right knee should point toward left shoulder.

4. Place elbows on inner thighs at top of knees.

4. Using body weight (from hips and chest), gently lower chest toward floor. (D) Try to touch right leg to chest. Hold for 15-60 seconds.

5. Press knees down with elbows. Try to touch knees to floor. Hold for 15-60 seconds.

5. Switch legs and repeat.

tip : For

a much deeper stretch, lean forward.

tip :

Because of the leverage used, you may over-stretch. Go slowly, and be careful not to lower your body too deeply.

a.

b.

c.

d. Goal stretch

Goal stretch

Stretching Program | www.realresultsfitness.com

www.realresultsfitness.com | Stretching Program

4

Lower Body

5

Thigh Stretch (Legs Wide)

Lower Body

Seated Hamstring Stretch

1. Sit on floor. Keep back straight.

1. Sit on floor with back straight.

2. Spread legs apart by pushing at knees with hands. Keep backs of knees on floor and toes pointing up.

2. Extend left leg to ten o’clock position. Keep back straight and toes pointing up.

3. Lean forward and reach toward toes. At maximum extension, grab legs near ankles. Hold for 15-60 seconds.

3. Pull bottom of right foot toward left inner thigh. 4. Lean forward and grab left leg/ankle with both hands. Try to touch forehead to left knee. Hold for 15-60 seconds.

4. If possible, touch forearms or forehead to floor. If your knees rise up, you may be leaning too far forward or your legs may be too far apart.

5. Switch legs and repeat (with right leg in two o’clock position). tip: This

is a very effective series of stretches. You may want to hold each position for 30 seconds or longer.

tip :

For an additional stretch, lean toward one leg and grab that ankle with both hands. Repeat with the other leg.

Position 1 grab ankle

tip: If

you’re too stiff to reach your leg or ankle in step 4, use a towel to aid with the stretch.

Position 2 – grab toes

Begin with the basic stretch, then grab toes of extended foot and pull toward head.

Position 3 twist body (targets lower back)

Begin with the basic stretch. Grab left shin or ankle with left hand, then raise right arm over head. Twist torso toward left, with chest facing right. Try to touch right hand to left foot.

Goal stretch

Position 1 - Goal Stretching Program | www.realresultsfitness.com

Position 2 - Goal

Position 3 - Goal

www.realresultsfitness.com | Stretching Program

6

Lower Body

Lying Crossover Stretch

7

Lower Body

Lying Groin Stretch

1. Lie on back with shoulders flat on floor.

1. Lie on back. Keep back straight with chest pointed up and shoulders back.

2. Fully extend right leg.

2. Fully extend right leg.

3. Raise left leg straight up. Grab outside of left knee with right hand. Keeping shoulders flat on floor, pull left leg toward floor.

3. Bend left knee. With both hands clasped together just below knee, grab left shin and pull leg toward chest. Try to touch knee to chest. Hold for 15-60 sec.

4. Bend left knee at 45-degree angle and hold down with right hand. Left knee should be at 3 o’clock. Hold for 15-60 seconds.

4. Switch legs and repeat.

5. Switch legs and repeat.

Goal stretch

tip : When

stretching, always keep your back straight. This tilts the pelvis forward and yields a deeper stretch. Hunching gives you added range of motion, which can make you think you’re more flexible than you really are.

Stretching Program | www.realresultsfitness.com

www.realresultsfitness.com | Stretching Program

8

Lower Body

Lying Hamstring Series

9

Lower Body

Standing Lunge Stretch

1. Lie on back.

1. Stand upright.

2. Fully extend right leg.

2. Lunge forward with left leg. Extend right leg so that knee is bent halfway.

3. Raise left leg straight up and hold. 4. Grab left leg with both hands. Complete each of the three positions below. 5. Switch legs and repeat.

Position 1 - knee slightly bent Bend knee slightly and pull leg toward chest. Keep leg frozen in position at the knee while performing stretch. Hold for 15-60 seconds.

3. Place both palms on left knee, with thumbs pointing toward body. 4. Keep back and arms straight. Hold for 15-60 seconds. 5. Switch legs and repeat.

1.

tip :

If you’re too stiff to grab your leg, use a towel to assist with the stretch. You may also lift your head and raise your shoulders slightly to further reach toward your leg.

Side view

2. 3. Goal stretch

Position 2 - toe pointed up Keep leg completely straight, point toes up to ceiling and pull leg toward chest. Keep leg frozen in position at the knee while performing stretch. Hold for 15-60 seconds.

These stretches will really help to loosen tight hamstrings. If necessary, lift your head and shoulders and arch your back slightly to assist with the stretch. This is a very effective series of stretches. You may want to hold each position for 30 seconds or longer.

Position 3 - toe pointed down Keep leg completely straight, point toes down to floor and pull leg toward chest. Keep leg frozen in position at the knee while performing stretch. Hold for 15-60 seconds.

Advanced goal stretches

Goal stretch - 90° angle (or greater)

Position 1 Stretching Program | www.realresultsfitness.com

Position 2

www.realresultsfitness.com | Stretching Program

10

Lower Body

Standing Thigh Stretch

11

Lower Body

Wall Calf Stretch (Leg Straight)

1. Stand upright one foot from wall.

This stretch works the upper calf area.

2. Raise right foot toward rear end and grab ankle with right hand. Hold ankle as close to rear end as possible.

1. Stand upright three feet away from wall with legs straight. Place both hands on wall about shoulder height and shoulder-width apart.

3. Pull right knee back as far as possible and hold. Keep right knee close to your left knee. Hold for 15-60 seconds.

2. Position left foot against wall at an angle, so that toes are off floor and heel is about five inches from wall.

4. Switch legs and repeat. tip:

If your too stiff and begin to lean forward you may do so only slightly, otherwise keep chest out, shoulders back and back straight.

3. Push with right leg and hips so that pelvis moves toward wall. Hold for 15-60 seconds. 4. Switch legs and repeat. Always keep legs completely straight during stretch. Lock knee by tightening leg muscles.

Goal stretch - hold ankle with both hands Stretching Program | www.realresultsfitness.com

www.realresultsfitness.com | Stretching Program

12

Lower Body

Wall Calf Stretch (Leg Bent)

1

Upper Body

Wall Chest Stretch

This stretch works the lower calf and ankle area.

1. Stand upright one foot away from wall.

1. Stand upright three feet away from wall with legs slightly bent. Place both hands on wall about shoulder height and shoulder-width apart.

2. Place right forearm against wall with elbow slightly higher than midline of chest.

2. Position left foot against wall at an angle, so that toes are off floor and heel is five inches from wall.

3. Using body weight, lean slightly toward the wall and turn left. Hold for 15-60 seconds. 4. Switch arms and repeat.

3. Push with right leg and hips so that pelvis moves toward wall. Hold for 15-60 seconds. 4. Switch legs and repeat. Always keep legs slightly bent at knee during stretch.

Stretching Program | www.realresultsfitness.com

tip : To

keep the RealResults stretching program at a manageable length, the upper-body portion is less comprehensive. The four stretches we show here focus on the areas that tend to stiffen up the most. Perform this series after lower-body stretches or an upper-body workout.

www.realresultsfitness.com | Stretching Program

2

Upper Body

Leaning Shoulder Wall Stretch

3

Upper Body

Standing Reach Back Stretch

1. Stand upright one foot away from wall.

1. Stand upright with chest pushed forward and back arched.

2. Fully extend arms over head. Spread fingers apart and place hands against wall.

2. Reach behind back and clasp hands together.

3. Keeping hands close together on wall, move right foot back so that right leg is fully extended. 4. Using body weight, lean toward wall. Keep arms straight to stretch shoulder area. Hold for 15-60 sec.

Stretching Program | www.realresultsfitness.com

3. Slowly raise arms. Keep body straight and upright and hands clasped together. tip :

If you’re too stiff to clasp your hands behind your back, use a towel to aid with the stretch.

www.realresultsfitness.com | Stretching Program

4

Upper Body

Multiple Neck Stretches

Neck Stretch A

Neck Stretch C

1. Stand upright. 2. Clasp hands together and place them on back of head. 3. Slowly pull head forward and down

1. Stand upright. 2. Place fingers of left hand on right cheek. 3. Slowly push head while turning head toward left shoulder. Hold for 15-60 sec. 4. Switch arms and repeat.

Neck Stretch B

Neck Stretch D

1. Stand upright. 2. Place left hand on upper right side of head. 3. Slowly pull head toward left shoulder. Hold for 15-60 sec. 4. Switch arms and repeat.

1. Stand upright. 2. Turn head to 10 o’clock position and place left hand on back of head. 3. Slowly pull head forward & down. Hold for 15-60 sec. 4. Turn head to 2 o’clock position, switch arms and repeat.

important !

When stretching the neck, always relax and move very slowly. Allow the weight of your head to gently pull it downward and never force the stretch.

a.

c.

b.

Stretching Program | www.realresultsfitness.com

d.