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What should I do before I work out?
Stretching is essential to women's fitness. It is vital to stretch before and after you work out in order to prevent injury. Stretching will increase your flexibility and warm up your muscles. Stretch after your workouts to prevent sore muscles. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Many womens fitness centers offer yoga or Pilates classes if you want to improve your flexibility. Here are some basic stretches you should always do before you work out that target your major muscle groups:
- Your quadriceps or “quads” are the biggest muscle in your body, so they are very important to stretch. Kick your right foot behind you, and grab your ankle with your right hand. Pull your heel toward your buttocks until you can feel a stretch in the front of your leg. Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs.
- Stretch your hamstrings by sitting on the floor with one leg in front of you. Bend your other leg in so the sole of your foot is resting against your thigh. Reach towards your outstretched leg and try to touch your toes. Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs.
- To stretch your calves, stand about a foot away from the wall. Slide one of your feet back about 18 inches, keeping your heel flat on the floor and your knee straight out behind you. Bend your front knee forward until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs.
- Stretch your triceps by raising your arm above your head and bending your elbow behind your head. Pull slightly on your bent elbow with your other arm. Hold for 30 seconds and switch arms.
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