Flexibility is key to a high quality of life, and while you may not notice it now, you've definitely lost some flexibility over the years. Alongside building muscle it takes commitment to stretch out and keep limber. Try these 5 moves to stretch out your butt, hamstrings, quads, thighs, calves and many more.
This workout is meant to be done as a circuit so complete one set of each exercise till you have finished one round and then start your next set. Remember form is all-important so feel free to adjust the reps and sets to ensure you are able to perform each exercise safely and with proper form.
1. Pulse Squats (50 Reps x 3 Sets)
Tip: While in the bottom of a squat and doing pulses, you want to keep your form the entire time. Keep your butt pushed back and chest lifted during the entire exercise. If you feel yourself getting tired and form being compromised, come out of the squat, rest and get back into the lowered position.
Benefits: Pulse squats get you the most amazing lower body burn and target all those large muscle groups (glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and even core) by just using your bodyweight and a different pulse count.
2. Cossack Squats (10 Reps Each Leg x 3 Sets)
Tip: Your other foot will typically have the heel on the ground but the rest of the foot up in the air. The arms are held somewhere out in front as a counterbalance.
Benefits: The Cossack squat could be used as a variation of a regular bodyweight squat, done for reps to build strength and endurance, but that’s not its best application. Instead, consider it a great drill for flexibility and mobility, awesome to dynamically warm-up with for any lower body activity.
3. Pulse Lunges (20 Reps Each Leg x 3 Sets)
Tip: Keep your head up and chest out. Keep resistance on your legs throughout the entire exercise. Don't stand up from the lunge position until you have completed all the reps for the set.
Benefit: The pulse lunge is a calisthenics exercise that primarily targets the quads and to a lesser degree also targets the groin, calves, glutes, and hamstrings.
4. Frog Splits (3 Minutes x 3 Sets)
Tip: For beginners, position your feet against a wall with your body spread forward on the floor. The position of the body against the wall and the floor locks your hips into place and allows gravity to open the body. Don’t push to hard, just relax and allow your body to open.
Benefit: Frog splits are great for opening the hips and pelvis, and also getting better mobilization in the sacroiliac joints so that it helps relieve the lower back pain and sciatic pain.
5. Straddle Splits (3 Mins x 3 Sets)
Tip: If you feel you can’t get as far as you like, use a chair in front of you or practice in front of a wall to stabilize your body. Once you’ve reached the furthest angle of your splits, hold the pose and breathe as you hold 10-15 seconds. Work your way back up to the starting stance slowly to make sure you don’t injure yourself.
Benefit: Straddle splits require flexibility in your hip flexors, groin, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Remember to always warm up your body and take advantage of different stretches to help your body prepare for the intense stretch.
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