Whether you’re hitting the weight room to bolster your next pickup game or just looking to build strength, remember that the most successful and enduring athletes are the loosest. Former NFL workhorse Eddie George credited his longevity to staying flexible through yoga, and Wimbledon champ Roger Federer is famously limber.
“Stretching not only improves range of motion, it prepares your muscles and helps them recover,” says Suzanne Meth, a manager at Equinox Health Club. What’s more, proper stretching can free constricted nerves, realign your frame, and even prevent muscle-degenerating fibrosis as you age.
Add these four stretches to the end of your workouts. Slowly flow between poses, holding each for a few seconds, then repeat the cycle. When you’re crunched for time, or want to add a pose, use the all-in-one stretch.