The 4 best ways to stretch in order to avoid injuries

Stretching can help you avoid injuries during exercise.
Stretching can help you avoid injuries during exercise.

Stretching is an important part of defending your body against injuries. It shouldn’t be an option – include a stretch session in every workout to make sure your body stays nimble and injury-free.

1. Head-to-knee stretch

This move stretches the hamstrings and back. Stand about 30cm from the wall with your back to it. Rest your behind against it and fold over at the hips, knees slightly bent. When your spine is extended, straighten your legs and lower your chest towards your thighs. Hold for a minute, then slowly stand up.

Read more: Thrust your way to a stronger, faster and more injury-resistant body

2. Down dog on wall stretch

This stretch stretches the shoulders and hamstrings. Plant your hands shoulder-width apart on a wall and step back until your body is bent 90 degrees at the hips. Spread your fingers evenly, pressing your hands and wrists against the wall. Relax your neck without hanging your head. Keep the back of your neck level with your spine. Hold for two minutes. That’s a long two minutes, isn’t it?

Read more: The upper-body stretches that build bulletproof muscle

3. Lunging pose stretch

The lunging pose stretches the quadriceps. Grab a bench about a metre from a wall with both hands. Stretch your right leg back to the wall. Hold, then bend your right knee towards the floor and shift your right foot so your toe is on the wall. Bend your left leg into a lunge until your right knee touches the floor, then draw your hips forwards. Hold, then switch legs. Do not attempt in poly shorts. Ever.

Read more: Think stretching sucks? Here’s how to warm up better

4. Twisting chair stretch

The twisting chair stretches the hips, core and glutes. Stand beside the seat of a chair or bench. Place your right foot on the seat. Grab your right ankle with your left hand and extend your right arm straight up in the air, rotating your chest to the right. Extend your spine and open your chest. Breathe a moment in this position, then release and repeat on the other side.

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Image credit: iStock

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