Increase Your Flexibility This Summer With Core Stretches

Core Stretches should always be an important part of your total fitness plan. Regular stretching after your workout not only helps to prevent muscle stiffness and soreness, but it also relieves stress and tension, increases flexibility, and improves blood circulation. It’s important to always maintain proper form during your stretches, and stretch to the point of mild discomfort but never pain.   

Here are some core stretches that we recommend doing every day to gain flexibility and for better overall health and wellness.

Seated Torso Twist 

Core Stretches - Seated Torso Twist

Sit with one leg extended straight out in front of you and the other leg up, crossed over the top of that outstretched leg. Twist your torso in the direction of the crossed leg, place your back hand on the ground behind you, hold your knee with the front hand, and try to look back behind you. Press your knee into your hand and hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.  

Press Ups 

Core Stretches Press Ups

Lie on your stomach with your legs extended, toes pointed away from your body, and hands palms down just above shoulders. Exhale and lift your chest off the ground as high as you can without lifting your pelvis/hip bones off the floor. Hold for 3-5 seconds, then lower yourself back down and repeat. 

Cat-Cow 

Core Stretches Cat

Begin on your hands and knees. Make sure your knees are directly under your hips, and your wrists are directly under your shoulders. Begin in a neutral spine position, with your back flat and your abs engaged. Take a big deep inhale. Exhale as you round your spine up towards the ceiling, and imagine you’re pulling your belly button up towards your spine, while tucking your chin in towards your chest.

Core Stretches Cow Position

Then, inhale as you arch your back down toward the ground, lifting your head and tailbone up towards the sky. Slowly alternate poses breathing through each movement. Repeat both poses 5-10 times each. 

Oblique Side Stretch  

Core Stretches Oblique Side Stretch

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Reach your right arm overhead and exhale as you lean to your left side. Pause when you feel a moderate stretch in your right side. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. 

Photo Credits: Richard Sibbald

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Noreen Lange

Noreen Lange

Noreen Lange has a BS in kinesiology with a minor in fitness, nutrition and health. With over 10 years combined experience as a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and nutrition and wellness consultant, Noreen has worked with celebrities, high profile athletes, and professional sports teams including Tony Gwynn and the San Diego Padres. Comments

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