Stretching is often one of those annoying afterthoughts you need to slog through before you can tuck into your post-workout protein. But if you think this, then you’ve got it all wrong, explains a new paper in >The Journal of Physiology. They got people to do passive stretching for 12 weeks and found it improved blood flow and heart health by reducing arterial stiffness. Look, it’s not going to prevent heart disease, but definitely will keep you a little healthier. They did five sets of just four stretches for 45 seconds each with a 15 seconds rest between each. Try them yourself to limber up inside and out.
1. Half kneeling quad stretch
Get into a lunge position with your back knee on the ground then grab that foot and pull toward your glutes.
2. Standing quad stretch
Stand on one leg then pull the ankle that’s off the ground toward your glutes.
3. Standing heel drop stretch
Stand on one leg with that heel hanging off a ledge then drop that heel to the ground to stretch your calf.
4. Lying hamstring stretch
Lie on your back then lift your one leg up toward the ceiling and hold it perpendicular to the floor with your hand.