Stretching – I don’t need that!

Before and after sessions you will hear us say, “Let’s stretch people!!”

We get some eyes rolls, and, groans, and a few athletes just run out the door right after their workout. Really, though, a lot of people know they should stretch. But why?

There are a lot of reasons why stretching is very important.

First and foremost, stretching improves flexibility-The ability of a joint to move through a full range of motion without pain. A fine example is when we ask you to go to the center at the beginning of your session and lunge to a side, we can hear the ‘aghhhh’, or ‘uffff’ or ‘Oh My’ or ‘I’m so sore’. Short, tight muscles restrict the movements of joints which can cause pain, reduce mobility, and limit athletic performance.

Think about the overhead squat, which requires many joints to go through a large motion with an object held overhead. Tight muscles around the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, and wrists can limit joint movement and throw the whole thing out of whack. This is why so many people struggle with the overhead squat and other movements that require flexibility.

Stretching can help preserve or improve flexibility and it also allows you to build strength across a joint’s full range of motion. Tight muscles will prevent you from squatting to full depth. You might struggle to rise if you sit in a very low chair, or get up and down from the floor. But, if you increase your flexibility, this will allow you to train in a full range of motion.

Other times, the lack of flexibility will prevent you from getting into a safe position. It’s very common for people to hurt their backs when they lift boxes because they can’t get their joints into an optimal position to lift. If their muscles will allow the joints to set up properly, their backs will be just fine.

With these examples, you can imagine how tight muscles affect balance as the joints struggle to get where they need to go. When we talk about tight muscles and restricted joints you probably think of tension, stress, discomfort, and injury. All these things are common. The situation often becomes worse when the inflexible person moves abruptly by accident and the muscle’s aren’t prepared for it.

There are different stretching techniques.

A coach can help you and figure out what’s perfect for you and your goals. Here are some examples:

-Warm up with some light movements (dynamic stretching) before static stretching.

-Hold stretches for about 30-60 sec.

-Breath naturally as you stretch.

-Focus on the large muscles around the major joints :The ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders.

-Stretch regularly, 5-10min a day can make a huge difference

Don’t neglect one of the most basic ways to feel GOOD!

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