Amazing how many people will adhere to a strict program of weight training, nutrition and lifestyle change, but for some odd reason, they will avoid flexibility training altogether. Okay, maybe they will stretch their quad (aka thigh) for 10 seconds after running on a treadmill. But, don’t people realize that stretching is just as important as weight training your muscles? Or, do people think that stretching WILL destroy their body?!
Well of course, flexibility training (aka stretching) will NOT destroy your body, but, in fact, stretching will help the muscles to unwind, decompress and recover quicker than not stretching. Spending any amount of time working out, let alone just being alive, the muscles in your body will bind up, become tense and are much more susceptible to injury. By consistently stretching, you can avoid injury, feel better after a workout and ready yourself for your next onslaught at the gym.
The best benefit, by far, is increasing the joint range of motion. Because if you have a deeper range of motion in a joint, then you will be able perform any given movement better, deeper and burn more calories because of having more range in a motion. Then you will have a better performing, looking and feeling body from all your hard work.
For the sake of simplicity, I will focus on static stretches until further notice. A static stretch is a flexibility exercise that is held in one position and pushed deeper into the hold with every use. The stretch should be held for 6-30 seconds and completed at least 2 times for best results. When you are stretching, it should be uncomfortable at worst and never painful. Push yourself into the stretch as deeply as possible and focus on deliberately breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
LYING HAMSTRING STRETCH (back of your leg below your butt):
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet placed into the ground. Extend one leg toward the ceiling, flexing your toes toward your knees, pressing your heel upward and straightening your knee. Grasp your extended leg at the thigh and gently pull your leg toward your stomach while keeping your leg as straight as possible. To deepen your stretch, allow your other leg to flatten out onto the floor. Switch sides after completing 30 seconds for 2 sets on one leg.
On every Saturday, I will introduce you to one stretch that can help you build a better body and maximize the most out of your workouts. Now that we have the ground work laid out for us, tune in next week for your first stretch in the Saturday stretch series. Remember to share, like, comment and most importantly, hit me up!
I used to avoid stretching until I discoverd that I was getting injured more often and sore for longer time. Ever since I learned more about stretching, it has improved my quality of life and it can for you, too!
You should consult a qualified medical professional before starting this or any other health & fitness program. As with any exercise or diet program, if at any time you experience any discomfort, pain or duress of any sort, stop immediately and consult your physician. The creators, producers, participants, advertisers and distributors of this program disclaim any liabilities or losses in connection with the exercises or advice herein. Any equipment or workout area that is used should be thoroughly inspected as free of danger, flaw or compromise, ahead of use and the user assumes all responsibility when performing any movements contained in this blog.