Why Should You Stretch More Often?

Personal/Fitness Training Blog

You may be thinking that it’s extremely challenging to carve out time in your schedule for exercise, let alone for stretching. However most cardio and strength-training programmes cause your muscles to tighten. That’s why it’s incredibly important to stretch regularly in order to keep your body functioning well.

You may see stretching as something which is done only by runners or gymnasts. However, we all need to stretch so that our mobility is protected as is our independence. A lot of individuals don’t understand that stretching has to take place on a regular basis. It should be done daily.

Why Stretching Is Important

Stretching may assist you with:

  • Improving your joint range of motion
  • Improving your athletic performance
  • Decreasing your risk of injury

Stretching makes sure that the muscles remain flexible, strong as well as healthy. We need that flexibility in order to keep a range of motion (ROM) in the joints. Without ROM, the muscles shorten and grow to be tight. And then, when you call on the muscles to be active, they are weak and not able to extend all the way. This puts you in danger for joint pain, strains as well as muscle damage.

For instance, sitting in a chair all-day-long results in tight hamstrings on the back of the thigh. That can make it much more difficult to stretch your leg or straighten out your knee all the way. This inhibits walking. Similarly, when tight muscles are abruptly called on for a vigorous activity that stretches them, such as playing tennis, they may become injured from suddenly being stretched. Injured muscles may not be strong enough in order to support the joints, which could lead to joint injury.

Regular stretching maintains muscles in a long, lean and flexible form. This means that exertion will not put too much force on the muscle itself. Healthy muscles also assist a person with balance problems so that falls are avoided.

Don’t Consider A Stretching Warmup

You could injure yourself if you stretch cold muscles so, before stretching, warm up with a stint of light walking, jogging or biking at low intensity for between five and 10 minutes. Better yet, stretch following your workout when your muscles are warm.

Think about avoiding stretching before an intense activity, for example sprinting or track and field activities. Some research makes the suggestion that pre-event stretching may actually decrease performance. In other research, the suggestion was made that stretching immediately before an event weakens the strength of hamstrings.

Also, try doing a dynamic warm-up. This involves doing movements similar to those in your sport or physical activity at a low level and then slowly increasing the speed as well as intensity as you warm up.

Strive For Symmetry

Everyone’s genetics, in terms of flexibility, are a bit different. As opposed to striving for the flexibility of a dancer or gymnast, concentrate on having equal flexibility side to side (particularly if you have a history of an earlier injury). Flexibility which is not equal on both sides could be a risk factor for injury.

Focus on key muscle groups. Concentrate your stretches on key muscle groups such as your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck as well as shoulders. Ensure that you stretch both sides. In addition, stretch muscles and joints which you routinely use.

If you have a chronic condition or, alternatively an injury, you could need to adapt your stretching techniques. For instance, if you already possess a strained muscle, stretching it may cause additional harm. Speak to your doctor or physical therapist about the most suitable way to stretch if you have any health concerns. Also keep in mind that stretching doesn’t mean you can’t get injured as  stretching, for instance, won’t prevent an overuse injury.

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Our Personal Training Diploma will make you a whizz at all types of training – flexibility training included. For more information, please follow this link.