5 reasons to stretch out

There are deemed 5 components of fitness; Cardiovascular, Strength, Power, Nutrition and Flexibility. Flexibility tends to be the one that is neglected, and yet I personally preach that ‘stretching’ should be an integral part of your workout program. You may ask why stretch?

Did you know that when you stretch it helps to:

  1. Decrease risk of injury
  2. Increase overall performance – Less energy is required, by a flexible joint, to move through wider range of motion. Flexibility therefore creates energy-efficient movements to increase ones performance.
  3. Improve posture / Decrease the risk of lower back pain – Stretching regularly, twice a week (e.g. Body balance/Yoga) will increase flexibility in the hip flexors, hamstrings, back, shoulders and pelvis; to help alignment of your spine. This will in turn decrease the stress on the lumbar region of your spine, to decrease the risk of lower back pain.
  4. Helps circulation – By increasing the blood supply to the muscles.
  5. Decrease the build up of ‘tightness’ in the muscles.

Just to note, that as an experienced Remedial Soft Tissue Therapist, many of my clients come to me with complaints of having ‘tight’ muscles. They may have been stretching and foam rolling regularly and still have the feelings of tightness. When one performs ‘active’ stitches, it may not be the ‘tight’ part of the muscle that actually lengthens. Therefore one of the reasons that basic stretching gives only temporary relief is because muscles are not in fact uniformly tight. There can be some parts of it in tension, or have adhesions, that restricts only a few fibres of that one muscle. That is where readers I can help, when stretching does not help.

As a Remedial Soft Tissue Therapist, I use a technique called STR – Soft Tissue Release to help localise a stretch to any fibres in the muscles that need lengthening the most.

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