The Routine of Stretching
Did you know that regular stretching is just as important as regular exercise? I’ve personally always enjoyed stretching as part of my fitness and training regime, and its most definitely provided me with major benefits, which I’d like to share, and hopefully, inspire you to make it part of your routine.
Helps improve flexibility, increasing your range of motion
Assists in postural alignment, lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position (i.e. tight lower back and hips as a result of sitting all day)
Increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles
Decreases the risk of injury by warming muscles before activity
And helps reduce muscle soreness post-activity.
Assists in calming the mind
Provides a healthy distraction and mental break from your daily grind
Gives your body a chance to reset itself.
Here are a number of tips on how to incorporate a stretching routine effectively…
Warm up before you stretch
Ideally, your muscles should be warm before you begin stretching. Perform a warm-up before a workout that simulates the movements you'll be performing in order to warm up and prepare your body.
This can be a 5-min run followed by some ‘dynamic’ stretches such as air-squats, spine twists, high kicks, lunges, and more complex combinations, such as lunges with side flexion.
Static stretching (i.e. stretches you hold for a specified length of time), should ideally be performed after a workout when your muscles are already warm.
Focus On The Muscles That Need It The Most
Rather than trying to stretch every muscle after your workout, focus on a few key areas where you experience tightness. Spend longer on each stretch and include more stretches for each area.
Include One Long-Duration Flexibility Session Each Week
Choose a flexibility class, such as yoga, Pilates, or your own flexibility work for 45-60 minutes at least once a week.
Drop us a message if you want to know more about incorporating flexibility work into your fitness routine.
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