1 Good Posture
Stretching results are not as visible as lifting weights –or so you thought. But that is actually the reason why it’s easy to forget and it’s often overlooked. Stretching can help to improve your posture, diminish aches and pains, relieve stress and can lead to a happier outlook on life.
2 Daily Routine
When working in an office or sitting all day it’s easy to forget to stretch but it’s also important. The main muscle group affected by this situation is glutes. Sitting is tough on our bodies especially on our glutes, if you are a repetitive “sitter” the muscle will begin the process of atrophy (it’ll begin to degenerate) and when a muscle like this shuts down, other muscles and joints will over-stress which can result into places like knees and lower back.
The best way to combat this is to activate and wake up these muscles; get up and stretch your glutes and hip flexors, whether you workout or not stretching these muscles can prevent injuries or future pain.
If you stay in place even for a couple of hours a day (sitting, driving or even standing) you should care about your thoracic spine (located in the middle of your back). If your thoracic spine becomes tight, it can create many problems down the chain of the body. It can cause problems in your neck, shoulders, and back.
Just by living your everyday life you use muscles and repetitive movement can cause them to get tight, for example carrying a bag or purse every day. Obviously, the heavier the bag the more your body can tighten up on one side. Everyday stretching can help to alleviate muscle tightness and bring back your body to feeling balanced. Pro tip: Use a foam roller! They aren’t exclusive to pre o post workout, incorporate them into your morning and evening routine to help stretch your muscles and improve overall elasticity.
4 Workout Miracles
If you workout sometime it’s important to stretch, even more, when you don’t do it regularly since it’s easier to get injured. After a warm-up, stretching before the actual workout can help the body to be a little bit more flexible and less prone to injuries, we recommend to, at least, stretch the muscles that are going to be worked during the session.
Stretches after a workout are just (if not more) important than stretching in advance to your workout. Stretching the muscle group that has been constantly contracted in the main workout can help getting the muscle back to its regular length and alleviate potential soreness.
But be careful and stretch gently, your muscles have worked enough already, if you stretch too hard you can cause an injury. Pro tip: help your body to cool down with a soft 5-10 min walk and some foam rolling moves for another 10 min besides your soft stretching.
Foam rolling is a practice that has become really famous these past years and for a reason! Look into it and you’ll be adding a roller to your Amazon cart very soon.
To obtain all the benefits from stretching you have to do it the right way. Breathing is a big part of stretching as well as be patient, you will improve progressively, day by day, week by week.
Don’t try to reach your toes the first day, sure at the beginning, you can feel a little awkward and won’t see progress right away, but if you keep it up for a couple of months and you track your results you’ll see your improvements.
If you are not sure how to stretch properly (or you just love stretching) and your purpose this year is to become more flexible you’ll love practicing yoga. Join a yoga class once or twice a week can help you get started into proper stretching, plus the instructor will guide you through the movements and make sure you perform the exercises correctly to prevent any injury. From the movements you learn in those classes you can create your little routine to perform every morning and/or every evening to improve faster and obtain the full benefits from it.