A big thank you to Yoga Master, Jade, who kindly put these videos together for you.
Stretching is often overlooked in our daily exercise but it is something that you should not neglect post workout – trust us your body will thank you for it. For more information on how to stretch and the benefits of stretching, please scroll to below the videos.
There are two different methods of stretching. One is Dynamic Stretching and this is normally performed as part of a warm-up. It is where you use the body’s momentum to take you to a greater range of motion. For example stand with one hand resting on the wall or back of a chair and swing your leg up and down to as high as you can comfortably get it,(this is the point at where you just begin to feel the stretch). Keep doing this and you will find that you will gradually be able to get your leg higher and higher. This is a Dynamic Stretch and as mentioned, is something you can perform as part of a warm-up if you wish.
The other type of stretching that we are more concerned with is Static Stretching. This is stretching the muscles while the body is at rest which is best done post workout. For example sitting on the floor and performing a toe touch to stretch out your hamstrings.
Stretching is an important part of any exercise regime.
The purpose of stretching is to lengthen our muscles and open up the muscle fibres which, in turn makes it easier for nutrients to enter and toxins to leave.
When we exercise, toxins build up as a by-product and if your muscles are still tight and in a shortened position then it makes it harder for these toxins to exit your system. These toxins are what lead to muscle soreness or D.O.M.S (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and while stretching will not always eliminate this (depending on the intensity of your workout), it can certainly lead to a shorter duration of soreness and stiffness and make it less intense.
It is also a good way to avoid muscle pulls, tears and ruptures by keeping the muscle nice and elastic.
Other ways in which stretching can be beneficial are:
- It helps increase flexibility which in turn is good for injury prevention. This is because a flexible muscle resists injury far better than an inflexible one.
- You will also continue to burn calories while you stretch.
- It is a great stress reliever.
- As we age, a good stretching routine is important for our mobility and the ease with which we can do things in day to day life.
Stretching is best performed after exercise when the muscles are nicely warmed and supple so there is less risk of you doing injury to yourself.
NEVER STRETCH COLD MUSCLES
This is when you are likely to injure them. Picture your muscles as being made of plasticine. If you pull apart cold plasticine it snaps but then if you roll it around in your hands and warm it up, it stretches.
Muscles are no different in that regard so happy stretching people.