Flexibility is an area of exercising that, sadly, many people don’t put any importance in. If you go to a gym like Nuffield Gym, take the time to observe the people exercising. Some will do a few stretching exercises before and after working out but plenty of people will skip flexibility exercises.
It’s a fact that stretching is one of the top routines people skip, claiming they don’t have enough time, motivation or energy. Some even bypass stretching simply because they assume no calories are being burned.
Having Fluid Movements
Stretching leads to flexible muscles and having flexible muscles lets your joints move in a more fluid manner. You will be able to accomplish a wide array of motion, more than with a stiff body. Flexibility will help you achieve more and get more out of your exercise routines.
Downside of Tightness
When we have tight bodies – tight shoulders, for example – we will have a more difficult time doing certain types of workouts. Tight hips will cause us to do squats that aren’t in proper form. Maybe you won’t be able to go down as low as recommended. Tightness in our bodies causes us to miss getting the most out of the exercises. Worse, doing routines the wrong way can lead to stress and injury.
The next time you’re tempted to skip stretching before and after your workouts, remember the countless benefits your body is missing out on. Stretching, for one, allows you to have better performance while lowering your risk of injury. While stretching may not always remove all soreness after exercising, you will notice an improvement in time as your body becomes more and more flexible. Expect to feel less pain in the long run.
Stretching will also do wonders for your posture. Some people report feeling less lower back pain, thanks to increase flexibility from stretching. Warm-ups and cool-downs are known to increase blood flow, letting your body efficiently distribute nutrients to tissues and organs. You’ll also notice an improvement with your coordination if you make stretching a habit. Many people find they get more enjoyment from their workouts while feeling less stressed.
Stretching the Proper Way
Never skip on stretching after your workouts. Research has shown that stretching prior to beginning your routine doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk of soreness or injury but stretching after your workout is more advisable. Stretching muscles that are cold could even lead to harm, making it less advisable to accomplish your stretching pre-workout. Stretch after your exercise routine because then the muscles are pliable and no longer cold. Do your stretches for a minimum of 5 minutes after exercising.
If time is not on your side, only stretch the major muscles that are usually the tightest. These are the muscles found in your calves, hips, chest, quads and hamstrings. It’s not advisable to bounce when stretching. Static stretching that is held into a comfortable pose is the best choice. You should feel a gentle tug at your muscle. Bouncing can hurt you and could lead to a pulled muscle.
Talk to a personal trainer at a place like Nuffield Gym if you want to learn more about stretching. It is one of the best exercise habits you will ever learn.