6 Stretching Routines for 6 Different Workouts

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Is there anything better than a good stretch after a tough workout? Taking the time to cool down and help your muscles relax as you reflect on your accomplishment for the day is second to nothing when it comes to exercise. Although it can be tempting to skip the stretch if you're short on time, stretching has some great benefits you can't ignore.

One reason some people neglect their post-workout stretch is that they aren't sure what exactly to do to help their body start to recover. Wonder no more: These six stretching routines are specifically designed to target the muscles you just worked in six of the most common workouts. Each will leave you energized and ready to tackle the daily challenges that lie ahead.

Current recommendations are to stretch after a workout when your muscles are warm, but not before.  Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds in a static position (no bouncing). Release, then hold again for another 15 to 30 seconds. You should stretch to the point of mild discomfort, but never pain. If you are unable to perform any of the suggested stretches in the routine, SparkPeople's Exercise Library has a number of variations from which to choose.

Running or Walking

Both running and walking use the same primary muscles: hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. This routine will focus primarily on those muscles, but also includes a few core and upper body stretches to make your whole body feel good.


Although this workout primarily challenges your core—abs, hips and lower back—you'll feel it in your legs and arms, too. Here's a stretching routine to help you feel longer and stronger after your Pilates workout.


It's easy to think of rowing as an upper-body workout, but when done correctly, rowing actually works your entire body. After a rowing workout, you'll need a stretching routine that relaxes your muscles from head to toe.


After a round of jabs, crosses and roundhouse kicks, you need to stretch out those hips and arms while you revel in what a tough guy (or gal) you've become. These stretches will leave you feeling full of energy and ready to tackle the rest of your day.


Circuit Training

A bonus because it's two workouts in one, both the strength training and cardio exercises will challenge your entire body in a circuit training routine. This workout might leave you feeling muscles you never realized you had before, so what better time to stretch it all out?


Also referred to as jump training, plyometrics uses explosive movements to increase your calorie burn and improve your fitness level. These routines are typically high impact, which means you will need a gentle routine to help you relax and recover afterward.

Take five to 10 minutes after each workout to stretch and you'll find that it's time well-spent. No matter your age, fitness level or flexibility level, stretching should be a regular part of your fitness routine. Even if it's the same few basic stretches at the end of any workout you do, the physical and mental benefits you'll reap make it well worth your time.

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BABY_GIRL69 3/16/2018
Very nice Report
TCANNO 3/11/2018
good idea Report
Great Information Report
ANCH0RDOWN 1/2/2018
def. need to try these! Report
JVANAM 12/31/2017
Progress is impossible without change,
and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
- George Bernard Shaw Report
JIBBIE49 12/30/2017
Thanks Report
TWEETYKC00 12/29/2017
Great, thanks for the good stretches, they can be so important! Report
DEBINTHEMTS 12/29/2017
Good information here. Thank you:) Report
RD03875 12/28/2017
Stretching feels so good! Report
Excellent information Report
SUZENNA 12/26/2017
Thank you Report
BARCELONAME 12/26/2017
Thanks Report
JANET552 12/26/2017
Great Report
SUSANBEAMON 12/24/2017
Stretching is okay. I follow my cat's stretching routine. Report
KATHYJO56 12/23/2017
Great article because most people don't know how to stretch properly Report
MNABOY 12/14/2017
Thanks Report
ROSSYFLOSSY 12/10/2017
Thanks for sharing. Report
I have to do a little stretching every time I stand up. Bad knees will require that if you want to walk again. Report
LVMS61516 12/7/2017
Thank you Report
J38850 12/7/2017
Thanks for sharing so really good info. Report
COURTENAYE 12/3/2017
Excellent. Report
KATHYJO56 12/2/2017
great Report
ROBBIEY 12/1/2017
good info Report
BIKE4HEALTH 12/1/2017
thx Report
ZRIE014 12/1/2017
thanks Report
RHOOK20047 11/30/2017
Thanks for the info. Report
USMAWIFE 11/30/2017
thanks Report
BABY_GIRL69 11/30/2017
Thanks! Report
ROBBIEY 11/30/2017
good information Report
AJB121299 11/30/2017
Awesome Report
BIKE4HEALTH 11/30/2017
Thanks Report
COURTENAYE 11/30/2017
Useful, Report
BARCELONAME 11/29/2017
Thanks Report
LOSER05 11/29/2017
thanks. Report
ILOVEROSES 11/28/2017
Thank you Report
ILOVEROSES 11/28/2017
Thank you Report
ARTJAC 11/28/2017
GREAT Report
Thank you! I usually skip the stretching! Report
RUNNER11G 11/28/2017
Thank you for sharing this information. Report
HOLLYM48 11/28/2017
Great information! Report
Great article! Report
EMGERBER 11/28/2017
Stretching is so important. Report
Thank you for your input. They are very good suggestions. Report
PLCHAPPELL 11/28/2017
Great suggestions Report
JIBBIE49 11/28/2017
Thanks Report
Thank you so much for all these great stretches w/ photos and descriptions. And thanks for the "real body" on the woman in the title photo, too! She's a nice and welcome change from the usual stick figure! Report
AJB121299 11/27/2017
nice Report
WONDERGALE 11/27/2017
Thanks for the information. Report
RETAT60 11/27/2017
Great information. Thank you for the tips and ideas. Report
RHOOK20047 11/27/2017
Found a new stretch routine. Report
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