The Importance of Stretching
Written by Cathleen Dower Thursday, 22 July 2010 16:39
Failure to stretch after being sedentary for long periods of time can result in lower back pain, and even injury if you forget to stretch before exercising - injuries can lead to chronic pain if not treated properly. To avoid this make sure that you stretch daily, and most importantly, always warm up and stretch before and after you workout.
Stretching before workouts is a must and should be an essential part of your fitness regiment. To do this you must first warm up for about ten minutes and then start to stretch so that your muscles are no longer cold and stiff as well as make sure you can stretch comfortably without overextending anything. If you stretch before your workout your risk of injury drops dramatically - of course it’s just as important to stretch after your workout too. So once again I recommend cooling down for about ten minutes and then slowly bringing your heart rate down so that you can stretch slowly and avoid injuries.
A great way to make sure you’re getting your stretching in is to join a Yoga class. Unfortunately, for some we do not have the time to make it to a class so if that's the case I recommend following these simple stretches below which you should try to do daily and after only a few weeks of stretching you should see yourself improving your flexibility.
While grabbing your right foot, bring it behind you, stretching until it reaches your butt, hold for ten seconds, repeat on opposite side.
While facing a wall put your hands against the wall with one foot forward while the other one is back. Next, try to let the heel of the foot that is back touch the ground. Do the same thing on the other side.
Take your right arm and hold it against your chest with your left arm, this will stretch out your bicep. Repeat on the opposite side.
Take your right arm and touch the back of your left shoulder, while using your left arm to push your right elbow backwards. Repeat on opposite side.
Stretch your arms out behind your back with your hands clasped together, bending at your knees raise your hands over your head to feel a stretch in your back.
Now remember, if you continue with this in just a few months time you will find that you’re 100x more limber and flexible, once you reach this point you can go ahead and increase the frequency and durations of your stretches to make it more challenging. Good Luck!
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