How many of us continue to tell ourselves, “I need to /should stretch more”?
Most think stretching is bending your head to your knees, or touching your fingers to the floor no matter how your body is contoured to do it.
My favourite one, the bounce stretching! Yikes, don’t do it man! Imagine an elastic band, bounce on that a few times and see what happens? It breaks!
Well, stretching is important and essential to keep the body balanced.
You may not be an athlete feeling tight or feeling contracted through the muscles but in everyday life we create habits that shorten and restrict movement to our bodies.
How to stretch properly
Let’s use the elastic band theory again, hold the elastic at the ends and start to pull (both ends) until tight, now pull a little bit more and you will see the band start to stretch in the centre under the tension of being pulled in both directions.
Now do the same but only pull one side and allow the opposite hand to move with the pull of the band i.e. travelling the same way, you will see the band does not get stretched as one hand is following the other not working in opposition.
So, what does an elastic band have to do with your muscles?
Picture the muscle you are trying to stretch is the elastic band and if you are not focusing on pulling the points of insertion away from each other then you are not really be stretching the bulk of the muscle and therefore wondering why you don’t get any more flexible.
If you have the use of a Pilates Reformer this is a great way to stretch with some resistance, but in a controlled way.
It doesn’t matter how flexible you are, stretching works the same for everyone, either stretch correctly and improve flexibility or be frustrated with your lack of flexibility.
You do not need to stretch for hours a day but I would suggest a couple of minutes every day will bring results, consistency is the key.
You can stretch anywhere, all the beaches of the Sunshine Coast have great facilities set up for exercise and stretching take advantage of these spots. Find a park bench that is a good height for you perfect ones along the ridge at Mooloolaba and Alex Headlands so you can also take a moment to re energise with the beautiful surrounding and stretch calmly.
I look forward to seeing all the stretching!