The importance of stretching:

The importance of stretching:

Stretching is a practice widely performed by professional athletes and gym goers alike – but what is the importance of stretching?

The results may not be as obvious as 40 squats a day, but stretching shouldn’t be overlooked -stretching can increase your flexibility, decrease stress and reduce stiffness.

Whilst stretching is important, stretching a tendon just 4% beyond its original length can cause permanent damage – so it’s essential to know the different types of stretching before setting off!

Stretching lady

What are the types of stretching?

Static stretching:

Holding your muscle in a challenging but comfortable position for around 10-30 seconds – static stretching should be performed after your warm up.

Example: Shoulder Stretch

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation:

PNF is an advanced type of stretching. The technique requires the contraction and retraction of your muscles – PNF stretching is often used for training and rehabilitation.

Example: Kneeling Quad Stretch

Dynamic stretching:

Performing repetitive gentle movements of a muscle to increase the range of motion. Dynamic stretching builds and warms the muscle and is great pre-workout.

Example: walking lunges

stretching important men

But, why is stretching important?

Improved quality of life:

Increased flexibility can improve your quality of life, especially as you grow older – as the body ages the muscles shorten and weaken, regular stretching can reduce this.

Decreased stress:

Stretching stimulates the receptors in the nervous system that produce stress hormones and lengthens muscles which relieves tension in your body and mind.

Enhances health:

Yoga and PNF have been linked to improved health conditions including lower blood pressure and lower heart rates.

Stimulates athletic performance:

Regular stretching increases the mobility of your muscles! Increased mobility is beneficial during sporting activities and allows a larger range of movement.

Man stretching bootcamp

Stretching has come a long way since that warm-up in P.E class!

To learn more about stretching or health and fitness why not book a fitness boot camp?

It’s the perfect way to start off your 2019 health kick!

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