Nadia Power’s top stretching tips to get you ready to move

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Make sure the grand stretch in the evening isn’t the only stretch this January

If you’re using the fresh weather as an excuse to get out for a run, a walk, a hike, or generally get your steps in, you also need to stretch. No one knows this better than iconic Olympian Nadia Power. From improving flexibility, preparing and relaxing the body, healing muscles and preventing injury, a stretch is arguably the best part of a tough workout! Nadia has become a brand ambassador for Irish fitness brand McSport, and using their bands and accessories, she shares the best stretches to get you limber.

Exercise 1 Hamstring stretch:

Sit with one leg out straight and the other bent.
Ensure the sole of your foot is touching the inside of your thigh.
On the side of your straight leg, reach for your foot, holding until you can feel a stretch in your hamstring.
Repeat on the following side.

Exercise 2 Glute stretch:

Sit with one leg straight and cross the other leg over the straight leg.
Placing the sole of your foot flat on the ground.
On the side of the bent leg, rotate to look over your shoulder until you feel a stretch in your glute and hip.
Repeat on the following side.

Exercise 3 Foam Rolling:

Place the foam roller under any muscle on your leg, or any part of the body you want to relieve tension on.
Shift your bodyweight so as much as feels comfortable sits on the foam roller.
Roll it up and down the muscle until it feels looser.
If you find a particularly tight spot you can hold the roller directly under it until the tension slowly releases.

Exercise 4 Hamstring and Calf Stretch:

Reach one leg forward with your toe pointing up.
Lean down and reach towards your toes until you feel a stretch down through the back of your hamstring and calf.
Repeat on the following side.

Exercise 5 Clamshells with resistance band:

Place band just above your knees.
Lie on one side with your hips stacked and knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
Lift your higher leg up and down for 6-8 reps – This activates the glutes and hips so that they are ready for more intense exercise.
Repeat on the following side.

Exercise 6 Crab walks with resistance band:

Place band just above your ankles.
Walk side to side in a quarter squat position – Make sure to maintain tension in the band.
Do this for 6-8 steps each way – This activates the glutes and hips so that they are ready for more intense exercise.