You haven’t been at the gym for a long time and you’ve been contemplating about getting that summer body, but your muscles feel stiff and your energy levels low. Just like a good appetiser stimulates your appetite, a good stretch is the first step towards alerting your body that it’s about to get lit.

What you need in hand:
• A mat
• Comfortable apparel (preferably tights and trainers)
• Bottle of water
• Stopwatch
• Good music (cherry on top)


1) Stretch your triceps

• Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
• Reach up with your left arm, fingers pointing up
• Extend your right arm at shoulder height on your side, with your thumb facing upwards
• Rotate your upper body from left to right, keeping your waist and legs firmly stable
• Repeat this five times
• Then do it on the opposite side

2) Stretch your biceps
• Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
• Extend both arms at shoulder height with your thumbs facing up
• Twist your arms so your thumbs rotate up and down
• Repeat this ten times

3) Stretch your hamstrings

• Sit on the floor with both feet stretched out in front of you
• Reach forward with both arms, ideally grabbing onto your toes
• Hold for ten seconds
• Sit back up and then repeat three times

4) Stretch your hips.
• Lie flat on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
• Lift your left foot up and place this on your right knee
• Using both hands, clasp the back of your right leg
• Pull your right leg towards you and hold for ten seconds
• Repeat on the opposite side

5) Stretch your neck
• Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart
• Incline your head forward
• Then stretch your neck to the left, right, forward and back, but always return to center between the different stretches
• Then tilt your head with ear towards your left shoulder, incline your head backward and roll your head from left to right, then right to left in a 30 degree motion.
• Be sure that when your head is tilted back, you keep your jaw relaxed and even let your mouth fall open just a bit.


1) Target a specific body part
To stretch the hamstrings, for example, you target the muscle belly when bending the knee, rounding the back (i.e., pointing the foot away).

2) Take sufficient breaks between sets
This will help your muscles relax and absorb the tension. Too much of anything is not good for you and stretching is not an exception. You might strain your muscles if you don’t take breaks inbetween.
3) Drink lots of water
This will help to keep your body hydrated as you may start sweating when you get into the stretching!

DO stretch regularly to maintain flexibility.
DO stretch tight muscles when training a favourite or strong body part. For instance, if your chest is strong and your calves are tight, stretch your calves between sets.
DO stretch if you have poor posture.
DO strength-training exercises that promote assisted stretching (assisted by either a machine or an assistant)
DON’T bounce in the stretch – you’ll tear your muscle.
DON’T stretch first thing in the morning, especially if you have a lower back injury.
DON’T negate a stretch by contracting that muscle immediately afterwards.
DON’T hold your breath during a stretch, as this will tense your muscles. Instead, you need to relax by exhaling longer than inhaling.

Now that you feeling the blood rush and adrenaline and ready to shona phansi, don’t take it in a literal sense when we say – break a leg!


Tell us: Why do you think it’s important to stretch before you workout?