Don’t Forget To Stretch – Here Is What You Should Know
Stretching is an often overlooked, though extremely crucial, component of a healthy lifestyle. The benefits of stretching are numerous, and combine to give you a general all-round good feeling. For one, stretching increases your flexibility, making you more comfortable in your body and helping you to conserve your energy more effectively when moving around. Stretching also improves your posture and the range of movements available to your joints and ligaments. Stretching inevitably minimizes the risk of injury and also helps to relieve stress.
Now that you understand the importance and value of stretching, we’ll consider some of the different stretches you can do and some techniques to help you stretch effectively. One very important thing to remember is that you should generally never start stretching when you are cold, without any prior cardio work. However this doesn’t mean you need to do any too strenuous beforehand, just five minutes of walking around or running a little bit on the spot will warm you up just enough to begin stretching.
Remember to breath normally as you stretch, and although you should feel a burn you should not put yourself through excessive pain, if it hurts too much you should stop what you’re doing. Also remember to do your stretches slowly and methodically, don’t bounce around or force your body into stretches. The last thing worth mentioning is that you should also hold you stretch for about ten to fifteen seconds, any less is insufficient and any more doesn’t really give that much added benefit.
A neck roll consists of standing straight and lowering your head forwards until your chin touches your chest. You should continue to rotate your head slowly until your ear is above your shoulder, and then till you’re facing straight up at the sky before going all the way around till your other ear is on your other shoulder. Repeat this stretch at least three times and then go the opposite way.
A hamstring stretch is very simple, all you need to do is to stand in front of a bench and lift one leg so your foot is on the bench. Make sure you keep your other foot planted where it was and grab your leg that’s on the bench and lean forward onto it until you feel your hamstring stretching, repeat with both legs.
Finally, standing twists are also very simply but highly effective at stretching your entire upper body. This stretch begins by standing straight with your knees slightly bent and then proceeding to raise your arms until they are parallel to the floor. Now twist your entire torso to the right while keeping your hips facing straight, then to the left, and repeat five times.
Make sure to stretch before any exercise. Stretching helps to keep you limber and to prevent any injury.