I know stretching isn’t a sexy topic but as you get older you may start noticing that you’re just not as limber as you used to be.
It’s easy to assume that with an older age you’ll start to lose your flexibility and while this can be true that doesn’t mean you should allow it to happen.
A lack of flexibility will bring a number of negative attributes along with it.
- Makes you more prone to being injured
- Will affect your posture
- Makes you imbalanced
- Can make you prone to chronic pain
- Will make cardio work harder
For example people with pelvic misalignment pain a lot of times is due to tight hamstrings.
If a part of your body isn’t as flexible as another that means it also isn’t as strong, this will cause your body to compensate for this weakness causing more stress on other parts of your body.
How To Become More Flexible.
You don’t have to do complex stretches or become a yoga guru to benefit at first, simply getting up from your desk and stretching your legs, back and arms can be beneficial.
You don’t have to make a program out of it, just focus on getting your body out of the normal posture that you’re in the majority of the day.
Office life can be brutal on your body. Think about it, you’re bent over your desk all day putting extra stress on your neck, shoulders and back.
So start with stretches that will help these areas, such as raising your arms above your heads, arm circles, touch your toes, or squeeze your shoulders to the middle of your back while sitting or standing at your desk.
Another example of office life gone awry is for the women who wear high heels on a daily basis, this can cause your calves to become less flexible.
An easy way to fix this is to stand on a step but with only the first third of your foot on the actual step and to allow your heel to drop below the step until you feel your calves stretching.
These are just minor examples that I’m trying to use to show you how everyday life and non active lifestyles can start to hurt your flexibility.
The Two Types Of Stretches.
let’s go over the three main types of stretches that are very easy for you to include in your day to day activities.
Dynamic Stretches (usually done before exercising)
Dynamic stretching is where instead of holding a certain stretch for a period of time you move through a range of motions to actually warm your body up and get ready for physical activity like cardio training or weight training.
Holding a stretch for a long period of time actually weakens your muscles and can hurt your workout.
This is why dynamic range of motion stretches are recommended.
Types of dynamic stretches
Simple dynamic stretches are
- Rolling your shoulders
- Arm circles
- Neck rolls
- Back twists
Harder Dynamic Stretches
- Leg kicks
- Leg crossover
- Lunge twist
Static Exercises (usually done after you exercise)
The best time to lengthen your muscles is after a workout and the best type of stretches for this are static stretches.
Remember, static stretches are where you hold a certain position without moving normally up to 30 seconds.
- Hamstring stretch
- Glutes stretch
- Quadriceps stretch
- Groin stretch
- Low back stretch
- Abdominal stretch
- Arm and shoulder stretch
- Chest stretch
- Triceps stretch
Some bad habits I see people do while stretching.
Do not bounce, this could put to much stress on your muscle or ligament and cause unwanted damage.
You should feel a mild sensation in the particular muscle you’re stretching but never in the joint, and the stretch shouldn’t be painful.
Choose the right type of stretch.
What I mean by this is, just like anything in life you have to start off with baby steps and gradually become more advanced.
On your first day you’re not going to attempt to perform the kamasutra.
Go slow start with basic moves and slowly progress to more advanced moves.