If you have always wondered why you are not flexible or you’re having difficulty performing certain movements in the gym, there could be a simple solution. Stretch!! You cannot imagine the number of clients that have problems just trying to perform a simple squat due to inflexibility. There are no gimmicks, no tools, no specialist, no masseuse and no medicine man with special healing powers that’s gonna help improve your flexibility. If you’re stiff and you don't stretch you will not become more flexible. Ask most athletes and they will tell you the importance of stretching. They don't become flexible just by exercising.
Here are a few reasons why you should stretch.....
1. Stretching helps improve joint mobility. Improving joint mobility helps you perform simple and complex tasks through a full range of motion. You will improve your balance, be a little more coordinated and it’ll feel better when you’re performing an exercise.
2. Stretching helps prevent injuries. Tight muscles are more prone to being pulled or torn. No one likes to be injured and not being able to exercise or participate in a sport is a real downer.
3. If anything, stretching just helps your body feel more relaxed.
All validated forms of stretching are good for you; static stretching, PNF stretching, dynamic stretching, hell even yoga is good for you! If you constantly stretch a muscle with correct technique you will increase flexibility of that joint. How much should you stretch? Start with once a day for 10 mins, choose a few different stretches. Just remember to target the muscles that are tight. Don’t just do the ones that already feel nice and flexible as increased mobility could lead to some problems. Change the stretches if you start to get bored, but keep targeting those tight muscles. You will definitely feel a difference. As long as you make an effort to stretch consistently, you will definitely see the benefits. If you are unsure of what stretches to do, or have no clue what stretching is, ask your personal trainer who will be happy to show you a couple of stretches.
Carl Jan De Vries