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8 stretching exercises that will help you release muscle tension between reps

Whether you’re hitting the weights, pushing through a HIIT session, or powering through a cardio routine, it’s crucial to care for your muscles. Proper stretching not only enhances flexibility but also helps release tension, aiding in muscle recovery and performance. Here are eight stretching exercises that can work wonders in relieving muscle tension between reps, keeping you primed for your next set:

1. Forward Fold

Target: Hamstrings, Lower Back

How to do it:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hinge at your hips, keeping your back straight.
  3. Lower your torso toward your thighs, reaching your hands towards the ground or your shins.
  4. Hold for 20-30 seconds, focusing on breathing deeply.

2. Quad Stretch

Target: Quadriceps

How to do it:

  1. Stand tall, shifting your weight onto your left leg.
  2. Grab your right ankle with your right hand, pulling it towards your glutes.
  3. Keep your knees close together and your torso upright.
  4. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides.

3. Triceps Stretch

Target: Triceps, Shoulders

How to do it:

  1. Extend your right arm overhead.
  2. Bend your elbow, reaching your right hand towards the center of your upper back.
  3. With your left hand, gently push on your right elbow.
  4. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides.

4. Child’s Pose

Target: Lower Back, Hips, Thighs

How to do it:

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  1. Start on your hands and knees.
  2. Push your hips back towards your heels, lowering your chest toward the floor.
  3. Extend your arms out in front or alongside your body.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, focusing on relaxing into the stretch.

5. Chest Opener Stretch

Target: Chest, Shoulders

How to do it:

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Clasp your hands behind your back.
  3. Straighten your arms and lift them slightly, opening up your chest.
  4. Hold for 20-30 seconds, feeling the stretch across your chest.

6. Seated Spinal Twist

Target: Spine, Hips

How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended.
  2. Bend your right knee and cross it over your left leg, placing your right foot on the floor.
  3. Twist your torso to the right, placing your left elbow on the outside of your right knee.
  4. Hold for 20 seconds, then switch sides.

7. Hip Flexor Stretch

Target: Hip Flexors

How to do it:

  1. Kneel on your right knee with your left foot in front, creating a 90-degree angle with your left knee.
  2. Push your hips forward slightly, keeping your back straight.
  3. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides.

8. Standing Calf Stretch

Target: Calves

How to do it:

  1. Stand facing a wall, about an arm’s length away.
  2. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height.
  3. Step your right foot back, keeping it straight.
  4. Press your right heel into the floor, feeling the stretch in your calf.
  5. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides.


Incorporating these stretching exercises into your workout routine can make a world of difference in how your muscles feel during and after your training sessions. Remember, it’s essential to listen to your body and never push a stretch to the point of pain. Take your time, breathe deeply, and give your muscles the attention they deserve for optimal performance and recovery.

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