It is always important to include stretching as part of your total fitness plan. Stretching not only helps to prevent muscle stiffness and soreness after a workout, but it also offers many other impressive benefits. That includes increasing flexibility, releasing tension and stress and improving blood circulation. Stretching your arms before or after any workout or strength training sessions is essential. Stretching helps to loosen the muscles and prepare them for heavy use. It also lessens the chance of injury and amplifies the benefits the training will bring about. Overhead Tricep Stretch Put one arm overhead. Position forearm as close as possible to upper arm. Grasp elbow overhead with other hand. Pull elbow back and toward head. Hold stretch. Repeat with opposite arm. Cross Body Stretch Grasp the elbow with your opposite hand and gently pull your arm towards your chest. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with opposite arm. Forearm & Wrist Stretch Place your palms flat and fingers pointed toward you, slowly lean backwards to stretch the forearms and wrists. Be sure to keep your palms flat. Hold a comfortable stretch for 20-25 seconds. Do not overstretch. Seated Spinal Twist Twist as far as you can, moving from your abdomen; keep both sides of your butt on the floor. Stay for 1 minute. Switch sides and repeat. Forward Bend with Shoulder Stretch Bring your hands behind you to the low back. Interlace the fingers or, if that is too much, use a strap or band to clasp the hands behind the back. Inhale to lift the ribs up and away from the hips, opening the chest toward the sky. Exhale to fold forward. Bend the knees as much as you need to. Shift the weight to the fronts of the feet. Allow the hands to rise up off the lower back as much as possible, as if you are lifting them over your head and toward the front of your body. Cat to Cow Place your shins and knees hip-width apart. Center your head in a neutral position and soften your gaze downward. Begin by moving into Cow Pose: Inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat. Lift your chin and chest, and gaze up toward the ceiling. Broaden across your shoulder blades and draw your shoulders away from your ears. Next, move into Cat Pose: As you exhale, draw your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back. Release the crown of your head toward the floor, but don't force your chin to your chest. Inhale, coming back into Cow Pose, and then exhale as you return to Cat Pose. Repeat 5-20 times, and then rest by sitting back on your heels with your torso upright.