Outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, and surfing might not seem like serious exercise because you’re having fun, but like any workout, it’s important to prepare yourself beforehand or suffer the consequences afterwards.
Stretching is an important part of a workout because not only does it warm up your central nervous system and increase your range of motion, it can also help to prevent pain later. In this list, we’ve rounded up some of the best stretching apps to get you ready for all your summer fun.
Learn Pilates ($1.99) - If you’re unfamiliar with Pilates, it is a body conditioning routine designed to help you build flexibiliy and muscle. It includes many different stretches, making it the perfect choice if you want to give your muscles a workout before engaging in a strenuous activity. This app will teach you hundreds of different pilates techniques, taking you from beginner to advanced in just 30 days. The app shows you how to breathe properly, and teaches you which muscles are engaged with each activity.
Simply Yoga ($2.99) – If you’re not familiar with yoga and want to give it a try for stretching, this free app is a fantastic solution. With Simply Yoga, you can utilize level one 20, 40, and 60 minute workouts, so you can choose a time that fits perfectly into your day. The app features videos to demonstrate how to get into each different pose, and every routine includes detailed audio instructions. You’ll get more than 30 poses in this app and three predefined routines, which is a great start for beginners.
Stretch by Poworkout ($2.99) – There aren’t many apps in the App Store dedicated solely to stretching, but this app by Poworkout is designed to be used before any workout or outdoor activity. There are 60 different stretch routines included, with stretches for mobility training and exercises inspired by both yoga and pilates. This app includes both fast routines for when you’re short on time and longer programs for when you want a thorough stretching. It also includes programs for your sport, including golf, football, dance, tennis, hockey, cycling, swimming, skating, and more.
Facilitated Stretching ($19.99) – This app is designed for people who are ultra serious about their stretching. Facilitated Stretching is dedicated to PNF stretching, which is a method that involves stretching a muscle, contracting it against resistance, and then stretching it again. The app allows you to stretch a single muscle or groups of muscles simultaneously, and it comes equipped with 91 instructional video clips to demonstrate technique. Like the above app, it has routines for popular activities like golf, swimming, and cycling.
Touch Your Toes in 10 Days ($0.99) – This app is designed for people who are looking to improve their flexibility, and it will guide you through the stretches that you need to complete in order to be able to touch your toes in just 10 days of exercises. It includes instructions from a nationally certified personal fitness trainer, plus plenty of videos for demonstrating stretching techniques. There are picture guidelines to follow as you learn, and there’s also a tracker so you can keep track of your progress.