Stretching belongs to the essential methods for maintaining optimal health and fitness. Lots of people do not put in the time to stretch their muscles before and after workout then they question why they are getting hurt all the time. Stretching is vital for retaining flexibility helping protect against muscle mass rigidity, stiffness, pain, and injury.
When muscle tissues are not worked out consistently, they become more tight, shorter, and eventually, they lead to a reduction of flexibility. If stretching is not done to balanced out these losses in flexibility, then the modifications can become long-lasting, and additional muscle tissue and joint problems will result.
Why stretching is important?
Benefits of fitness stretching:
- Enhances Flexibility – Flexible muscles help maintain good posture and balance. Making fluid strides ‘s hard when muscles are rigid and tight.
- Relieve muscle tensions that prevent muscle and joint injuries.
- Flushes lactic acid.
- Improves muscle repair rate.
- Is a natural way to detox your body
If you work out, you’ve likely made stretching part of your warming up and cooling down routines. It improves range of motion, flexibility, circulation and the overall success of your workout. Different kinds of training call for different types of stretching. Knowing them will help determine the appropriate type for your particular fitness program.
Static stretching, the kind a fitness instructor leads at the end of a class, involves stretching a body part to its farthest position and then holding it for 30 seconds or more. It does not involve bouncing or rapid movements, just a mild, painless pulling sensation. You feel the stretch through the entire length and center of the muscle and not in the joints.
Passive stretching is similar to static stretching, except that an apparatus or partner provides the force to stretch the muscle. For example, you may stand with your back against a wall while your exercise partner lifts your leg to stretch the hamstring. Passive stretching relieves muscle spasms and helps reduce muscle fatigue and soreness after a workout.
The top 4 fitness stretching exercises
1. Neck stretches are critical, be sure to warm up the neck by doing sideways stretches, forward stretches, and stretches going all the way around one way, and then the other way. Don’t disregard your neck, it is an important muscle group, and injuring it would hinder your progress in your fitness goals and also your life. A neck injury is a horrible thing to have.
2. Lower and upper back stretches are vital for your success in fitness. Start by hyperextending your back and then going into the child’s pose making sure to hit all the necessary positions on the way. Alternate back and forth from the hyperextension to the child pose until you feel that part of your back warmed up.
3. Lunges are great to warm up your legs for some work. A good deep stretch during the lunge will be great for your warm up. Walk a room back and forth with lunges, and you’ll be sure to feel the warm up on your legs.
4. Knee to chest stretch is great for your lower back and glutes. Switch knees for a single knee to chest stretches. Lying down, twisting spine stretch is a great warm up for your lumbar and spine. It is a vital to stretch to keep your back healthy during and after the workouts.
Does stretching help?
Pre workout active stretching is crucial for your longevity and career in fitness. It will make you warm, loose and most importantly injury free. Stretching before a workout also acts as a natural heart rate monitor.
Stretching should make your muscle groups feel a lot better. If a stretch does not feel at ease or you do not experience the right muscles stretching out, then omit that stretch and consider a different one that focuses on those muscle groups better. It’s also advisable to make minor adjustments to your body position to pay attention to the parts of your muscle that are tightest, as this will improve the success of all stretches.
You have probably heard the expression that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and that certainly applies to stretching. Stretching may not be the most exciting part of a fitness program, but it is just as important as the workouts, at least when it comes to maintaining a healthy, pain-free, and well-functioning body.
It just takes minutes to stretch your muscles, and by doing so, you will pump more blood into the location that requires it, therefore, minimizing the possibility of injury.
Thinking about the time, it requires to recuperate from injury and the loss of important physical fitness training; stretching is something that never needs ever to be neglected of any training regimen.
Stretching Exercises at Your Desk
You may feel awkward doing stretching exercises at your desk. But right now, as you sit there at your computer, you are doing one of the worst things you can do to your body — you’re sitting still. And not only that, but the way you sit — and type, and hold the phone — may be wreaking havoc on your bones, joints, and muscles.
“People who sit at their computers for hours every day — they’re in for serious medical problems,” says Sharon Hame, MD, associate clinical professor at UCLA’s department of orthopaedic surgery. “We’re seeing more things than carpal tunnel; those pains go up the arm to the elbow and shoulder and then translate to the neck and back. It’s a huge problem.”
Just stand up and sit down — no hands
You might have gotten a gold star in preschool for sitting still, but it just goes to show you (best sellers notwithstanding) that not all of us learned everything we need to know in kindergarten. “If you stand up and sit down (over and over) — without using your hands — it can be a challenge,” says Smith. “Do it while you’re on the phone; no one will know.”
Substitute exercise for sitting — while you work
Get rid of your desk chair and substitute an exercise ball, suggests Smith. “I used it for a while when I was having low-back problems; it was great,” Smith says. “All day you are engaging all the muscles in the back, legs, butt, everything, to stay balanced.”
Hame knows one man who put a treadmill in his office and conducted all his business while walking. (He lost weight, too, Hame says.)
Shrug your shoulders — to release the neck and shoulders
Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders, lifting them high up to your ears. Hold. Release and drop. Repeat three times.
Shake your head slowly, yes and no. You might as well amuse yourself while you do it to relax even further. Ask yourself silly questions: “Is your boss an idiot?” Move your head up and down, “Yes, yes, yes.” Side to side: “No. No. No.” (Shedding tension is as much mental as physical.)
Loosen the hands with air circles
Clench both fists, stretching both hands out in front of you.
Make circles in the air, first in one direction, to the count of ten.
Then reverse the circles.
Shake out the hands.
It is simply as crucial to stretch whether you are in a resistance-training program or just opting for a walk.
Various muscles are triggered with the different kinds of workout we do, and it is necessary to target those muscles when stretching.
If you are planning to do a heavy weight session on the lower body, then you would have to heat up your leg muscles with a long time on a stationary bicycle then potentially touching your toes to limber up your lower back and hamstrings.
If you are opting for a run, you would likewise have to stretch your legs, and in specific your hamstrings, where lots of runners have issues.
Tight hamstrings can also produce issues with your lower back, so typically the problem is originating from a location aside from where the discomfort is felt.
Stretching need to be light and never required as that alone consistently can trigger more injury than a few of the workouts we carry out.
You ought to never bounce when stretching either as this can tear muscles or strain them enough that they will tear throughout the course of training.
If you are doing resistance training, it is smart to begin the very first motion of any workout with little or no weight to obtain the blood into your muscles and warm them up for the much heavier weights that are to follow.