Now you don’t normally hear me grunting or moaning and groaning in the gym whilst I am training, well maybe sometimes, BUT you will hear me howl the stretch room down when I spend the time to stretch after my workouts, which if I am honest, I don’t spend enough time doing, stretching bit not howling…
I know the benefits and appreciate that it improves my flexibility and helps me recover much better from my workouts.
My new year promise to myself was to spend more time stretching and so far I have done this. You see the problem is when we exercise, our muscles are in a state of contraction then lengthening which can cause your muscles to become tight and short. We need to keep our muscles loose and lengthened to avoid injuries which is why we MUST stretch. If you neglect stretching, you may eventually suffer from poor posture which will cause all sorts of problems later in life.
Breathing through stretches helps you get through the pain barrier when you hold stretches for 20/30 seconds after workouts. These stretches are best done when your body is warm, after a workout. You can also try dynamic exercises before your workouts focusing on stretching the muscles you plan to train during that session.
Invest in a foam roller, this will be your best friend once you learn to love it although again, get through the pain barrier first… Try to connect with your new best friend 3-5 times a week to keep you feeling tip top.
Yoga and Pilates are also great ways to get your body stretched and mobile.
I will post some simple stretches on my blog very soon …