After overindulging during the holidays, you might be ready to crack down on a new diet and exercise routine. You’re excited to get going, but if you push your body too far too fast, you’re liable to injure yourself. If this happens, you’ll be forced to put your exercise plans on hold until you heal.

What you need is to include specific stretches to prevent injury in your warm-up routine. These help to loosen up your muscles and improve your flexibility as you start your new exercise program.

fitness woman pink sports bra stretch leanStanding Hamstring Stretch

Great for stretching both your calves and hamstring muscles, the standing hamstring stretch begins by stepping your right foot out in front of you. Lean forward, lift your right toes off the floor, and flex your foot. Bend your left knee, keep your back straight, and place your hands just above your right knee to deepen the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.

Shin Stretch

Begin this stretch by standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Put all your weight on your right foot and point the toe of your left foot into the ground about two inches behind you. Lean your left leg into the stretch to loosen up your shin muscles. Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat the stretch with your right leg.

Figure 4 Stretch

To open up your hips and stretch the iliotibial (IT) band in your knee, start by standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Lift your right ankle onto your left thigh just above the knee. Bend forward and shift your weight back as if you’re sitting down. Feel the stretch in your hip for 30 seconds, and then repeat with the other leg.

Runner’s Lunge

Assume the lunge position, with your left knee on the ground beneath you and your right leg bent at 90 degrees in front of you. Place both hands on the ground on the left side of your right foot. Lean forward and let your right knee open slightly. Your right leg should bend more and your left leg should straighten. Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat with the other leg.

Pigeon Pose

At the completion of the runner’s lunge, lower your left leg onto the ground and straighten your right leg back behind you so your legs resemble the number 7. Position your hands on the ground in front of you and lean forward. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, and then switch sides.

Hurdler’s Stretch

Sit on the ground with your legs in a wide V. Bend your left knee and tuck in your foot as close as possible. Twist your torso to the right and lean toward your foot, grabbing your shin, ankle, or toes, depending on your flexibility. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, and then repeat with the other leg.

Child’s Pose

End your warm-up stretches to prevent injury with this relaxing yoga pose. Begin by kneeling on the ground and sitting back on your heels. Keep your big toes together, separate your knees slightly, and lean forward. Straighten your arms above your head and place your forehead on the ground. Breathe as you hold the stretch for one minute, and then release. Now you’re ready to begin your workout with loose, warm muscles.

Treat Injuries at Spine Correction Center

Despite implementing these stretches to prevent injury, it’s possible you may still strain a muscle or experience pain for another reason when starting a new workout regimen. Fortunately, you can visit Spine Correction Center of the Rockies for non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical treatment. We offer remedies for a variety of overuse and repetitive injuries that often affect athletes, including patellar tendonitis and IT band syndrome. Our natural treatments can get you back on your feet quickly and effectively.

To schedule a free consultation at our Fort Collins office, please contact Spine Correction Center at (970) 658-5115 today.