In fitness, many people start with an intense workout or physical activity like weight lifting or a long run on a treadmill. However, they fail to remember to do a warm-up or a stretch beforehand.
Warm-ups and stretching are crucial to the performance of a daily workout. Although, many people view stretching as a pointless exercise, in fact, stretching is essential to a fitness routine. Stretching can maximize a person’s flexibility, the range of motion, as well as prevent injuries. Also, stretching can improve posture, boost performance, and promote stress relief. There are many techniques and routines a person can try, but how can a person improve their stretching posture? Here are ten tips to boost your stretching potential:
Warm Up Before You Stretch
It’s good form to warm up muscles before stretching that way blood circulates through the body. You can try low impact exercise like walking which will allow blood to move through the body at a timely pace. Therefore, no muscle will be cold, and you will be less likely to receive an injury during stretching. The average warm-up time is usually five to ten minutes. Some people choose to do less, and some people choose to do more. It all depends on your style of how you want to exercise.
Hold A Steady Stretch For 10 To 30 Seconds
It’s important to be able to hold a stretch for ten to thirty seconds when you’re stretching. There are many stretches you can choose to do. For example, a standing hamstring lunge, figure four stretch, frog stretch, and even a butterfly stretch. It’s important not to bounce when stretching. Also, make sure that you only hold a pose up to thirty seconds. Overstretching may result in small rips in fibers.
Stretch To The Point Of Light Pain
The point of stretching is to get your muscles ready to be worked out. Therefore, stretching shouldn’t always be most comfortable. In fact, it is recommended that once a muscle is relaxed maximize the stretch and hold it there, however, if the stretch is painful then you trying to force the stretch instead of it happening naturally.
Breathe As You Usually Do
Most people either when trying a new stretch for the first time or holding a stretch forget to breathe normally. Sometimes instead people breathe fast-paced breaths or something people hold their breath. However, the best way to breathe when stretching or holding a stretch is to breathe as you always do. If you feel like you can’t breathe when stretching, then you might be doing a specific pose incorrectly. If you need assistance, many videos on YouTube can display how to breathe correctly and give tips and pointers on how to angle your body so breathing won’t be so difficult.
Drink Water Beforehand
Some people will grab a sports drink often thinking that a sports drink offers more nutrients than water does. But, water is better for you than any other beverage when it comes to physical exercise. It’s essential, especially when stretching that your muscles are hydrated that way there is less of a risk of injury. Water offers the most hydration and therefore should be the first on your list to grab when you run out of the house.
Offset Your Routine
It is essential that you work different muscle groups when stretching. For example, it’s good to work both your upper body and your lower body. Some stretches that will allow you to do just that include a knee to chest stretch, a seated neck stretch, and a lying quad stretch. Therefore, by working different muscle groups, you will have a better workout, and your performance will be improved.
There are so many stretching poses and techniques that you can choose from. If you increase the amount you know, you’ll be able to work out different muscle groups in a fun, challenging way. Some ways to learn more stretches including going to a yoga class, visiting websites that are related to stretching or looking up tutorial videos on YouTube. If you add more poses and techniques to your fitness routine, then you may see a reduction in soreness and a decrease in injuries.
Not only should you stretch before a workout you should stretch daily. Stretching daily will circulate the blood and decrease muscle tension and soreness. If stretching is only performed before a workout, it may prevent injuries and soreness but possibly not to the degree you would prefer. That’s why it’s recommended that a person stretch daily so that when physical activities are performed, they are met with the circulation needed to kick away injuries and muscle soreness.
Stretch After A Workout
After a workout a person can be energized from the adrenaline; therefore stretching can be used as a cool down tactic to put a person in the right frame of mind. With the right poses and techniques, stretching can be used as a relaxation method instead of warming up muscles. Some these stretches include the shoulder stretch, eagle arms, and the standing forward bend. However, the most critical part of these stretches is to put your thoughts aside and focus on your breathing. Your breathing will relax you as you move from stretch to stretch.
Can Improve Mood
Many stretching poses and techniques can be used to improve your mood, whether you try something challenging or something fun. You can use your creativity to have fun with stretching and reek the benefits of it too! If interested in learning some routines you can watch videos on YouTube or join a yoga class in your local area.
While stretching maybe seem like an unnecessary skill needed in fitness, stretching is highly regarded among healthcare professionals and fitness instructors. Stretching has proved to prevent injuries and boost preference during physical activities. So get stretching today and remember to be creative!