Sounds a lot better than hours of cardio, right?

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to get involved in workouts that burn as many calories as possible. For many people, this means cardio, cardio, cardio. While it’s true that cardio can help burn calories and help you lose weight, trainers say it’s a mistake to make it your only focus. Strength training And rest plays an important role in losing weight in a healthy way. And you know what else it does? Spread out.

Many people don’t think that stretching can contribute to weight loss, but there are many ways in which it can do exactly that. Here, trainers explain exactly how and give you five easy stretches to work into your routine.

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How does stretching relate to weight loss?

“The reason stretching is so important in one’s weight loss journey is the simple fact that stretching makes joints and muscles feel better. good” he says. Coby Hopkins, CPT; Personal trainer and corporate director of training and fitness at Stretch U, a full-body stretching company offering one-on-one assisted stretching. “If your body feels good, you’ll be more motivated to exercise and stick to your program,” he adds.

This makes complete sense when you think about it. It can be tempting to jump into a new exercise routine and go hard every day. But doing this does not allow the body to recover properly. And when you’re not feeling well, you’re more likely to give up on your exercise goals altogether. “While there are many factors that contribute to how effective you are at burning calories, having strong, happy muscles can play a big role,” says a medical exercise expert. Melissa McGuire, MES, He says. “When your muscles are good, you’re happy Flexibility And a healthy range of motion in every joint.

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Both trainers say that stretching not only makes the body feel good, but also helps with muscle growth. “When we lift weights, we break down muscles. To really build muscle, we need to recover from that exercise, and stretching helps improve that process,” says Hopkins.

Regular stretching allows a person to exercise at a greater range of motion, he adds. “If you can lift the same weight with that movement over time, that leads to more muscle growth,” he says.

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Different types of stretching to work with your daily routine

McGuire and Hopkins explain that there are different types of stretching, with somewhat different benefits: isometric-active stretching, dynamic active stretching, passive stretching, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, which are discussed in more detail below.

  • isometric-active stretching; “This kind of stretching is like a Yoga position,” says McGuire. “Some muscles are being trained to relax, but the opposite muscles are being tightened.” She says the benefit of this is that the tight muscles are loosened, which increases the range of motion in the joint. In addition, the engaged muscles become stronger. McGuire says, “For both strength and Flexibility is a win, which helps keep the body in balance.

  • Dynamic-active stretching; McGuire explains that dynamic active stretching focuses on movement. For example, doing 10 repetitions deep Squats. This type of stretching, she says, stretches and lifts the muscles.

  • passive tense; Passive stretching, McGuire explains, is when you stretch. “Your muscles eventually relax, but you don’t have to work to do anything,” she says. While McGuire says aerobic stretching is the least effective for weight loss, she says it’s still useful for helping muscles recover from vigorous exercise.

  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF): “PNF is stretching where you go through a series of contractions and releases to increase your range of motion over time,” says Hopkins, who says it can be good before or after a workout. Such stretching “tricks” the nervous system into resisting pressure, which helps the muscles to relax, allowing you to have more depth.

5 stretches to incorporate into your daily routine

McGuire recommends doing some light stretching every day. Stretching before and after work can be especially helpful. “Typically we encourage dynamic stretching before exercise. [passive] stretching later,” says Hopkins. “Flexible stretching is great for lubricating the joints and getting the blood flowing. [Passive] Stretching, held for 30 to 60 seconds and focusing on long, deep breaths, is beneficial for recovery from strenuous exercise.

Here are five bars paired with different types of stretches that trainers say can help you lose weight.

1. Plank position

Holding the plank is an example of isometric-active stretching, which McGuire says builds strength and flexibility. To do a plank, place your hands directly below your shoulders a few inches apart with your toes on the floor. Hold the position for 20 seconds gradually up to one minute if you can.

2. Lung walkers

Walking lunges are a dynamic active stretch. Start in a standing position. Step forward with your right leg, bending the knee to 90 degrees. Hold the lunge position for a few seconds. Bring your left foot forward to meet your right foot. Now step forward with your left leg and go into lunge position. Repeat 10 lunges on each leg.

3. High kicks

This is another example of dynamic active stretching. To do high kicks, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift one leg out as far as you can. Keep your neck and back straight and reach for your toes with the opposite hand. Bring your leg back down and repeat with the other leg. Do 10 high kicks with each leg.

4. Runner’s lung

For a friendly stretch, try a runner’s lunge by starting in a standing position and bringing one leg back behind you. Bend the other leg at 90 degrees. Place your hands on either side of the front leg. Hold for a few breaths and then switch, bringing the opposite leg forward.

5. Hamtar stretching

The hamstring stretch is a common PNF stretch. He lay on the ground with one leg on the ground. Pull the other leg toward the ceiling as you wrap both arms around your thighs. Hold for 20 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.

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  • Coby Hopkins, CPT, personal trainer and corporate director of training and fitness at Stretch U

  • Melissa McGuire, M.S, Medical exercise specialist

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