There are many trains of thought with regards to the Importance of Stretch. I personally come from a Group Exercise background when pre & post stretch were an important part of physical activity.
So why stretch … Simply put stretching returns the muscles to their pre-used state, the more you work a muscle the shorter it becomes, it you’re not stretching after use you’re then working it in an already short position, the shorter they get the tighter the body will feel!
The muscular skeletal system is more than muscle and bone, but for the purpose of this article I want to focus on just that!!
Most people experience aches and pains due to some muscular imbalance, this could be due to both tight/shortened muscles or muscles that are over stretched, which would then create shortening in the opposing muscle groups.
I often see clients who complain of aches/pains and after visual assessment it turns out to be muscle imbalance that’s causing the issue.
How do we look after them …
First, I’d ask you to consider how you use your body, everyone has a dominant side – the side you prefer to use will generally be stronger.
Secondly, look at your physical activity do you do the same thing, tennis/golf are naturally one sided sports, gym based exercise – do you work each muscle group equally or do you do more bicep curls than tricep dips???
Thirdly, what kind of job do you have?? Most muscle imbalance is caused by the working environment rather than the extra “training” that is done. How many of you sit on your computer with your head supporting your phone, use your laptop on your knee, prefer to use the iPad not the PC????
All of these things contribute to muscle shortening, but the big question is do we include stretch into our daily routine …
Importance of Stretch
As many of you know I enjoy Yoga & Pilates as a participant and I am qualified to teach Pilates, so many of my client will get Pilates based exercises for use between appointments. But, I know many people don’t like the thought of these classes as they’re generally slower and more relaxed and “I don’t feel I’ve worked out”!!!!
The key with any stretch/stretch style class is to find one you enjoy, don’t just give up after the first try – like many things everyone has a different style/personality.
I’m currently enjoying Dru Yoga – not at all what I would normally look for in a class (give me loud music and a bar bell any day) but I’m finding the time in each posture to actually connect with my body and feel how it moves just what I need at this moment in time, and that’s what makes stretch important, to be able to feel how your body moves fluidly, without pain or discomfort – I don’t advocate no pain no gain!!!!! How it feels when you’re in a certain position and most of all how your body feels after the session, I like the flexibility if gives me as well as the strength.
Some of my favorite stretches include seated hamstring, standing adductor and simply laying with my feet up the wall feeling fully supported so my muscles actually have nothing to do but relax.
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Thank you for reading this weeks blog – Importance of Stretch. If you would like more information please Get in Touch.
Until next time
Jeni Wren x