The Best Reason To Stretch
There is so much conflicting advice on the best reason to stretch. And on how you should stretch. Is it injury prevention? Pain relief? Is it to make you perform better? Do you do it before exercise? Or after exercise? How long do you hold the stretch for? Should you do static stretching or dynamic? Does stretching even work?
To be honest you could find information to support all kinds of different reasons to stretch and techniques.
One thing is generally agreed
Most people will agree stretching is beneficial in all kinds of ways. The chances are someone who stretches regularly will likely have less pain or injury than someone who never does.
But, what’s the best reason to stretch in our opinion?
To find out where you lack mobility
Most people will only stretch when something feels painful or tight. Or perhaps they’ve been told to. A few people stretch because they’ve had a previous injury, or they’ve got into the habit through some kind of sport.
But the best reason to do it is to find out what you can’t do, before you’d otherwise notice it.
Here’s the thing
As you’ll know if you’ve read any of our other blogs as we mention it so often, your body was designed to move. If it’s moving freely with no areas of stiffness or restriction, the chances are that you won’t have too much pain.
However, what usually happens is that certain bits of us lose mobility. The muscles get a bit tighter or the joints a bit stiffer. The problem is, that this often happens over the course of months and years and is so gradual that we don’t notice. Then, sure enough, we suddenly realise we can’t do something we used to, or we get an area that hurts.
So how does stretching help?
If we’re stretching regularly (even once a week for a few minutes), we will notice if something feels different to how it did the previous week. If something is harder to do (or easier for that matter). Often we’ll notice it when stretching before we notice it in any other way. And then we can do something about it. Having that early awareness that something is harder than it used to be, is priceless. Because then we can work on that area, and nip the issue in the bud before it has a chance to cause us problems. That’s the best reason to stretch.
You’re convinced (maybe) so now what?
There are a lot of great stretching videos on youtube, and it can be a great source of simple stretching routines. Just search “full body stretch”, then click filter, then “rating”. Then take your pick. Failing that, we put together a simple stretching routine that you can see here (just scroll past Hugo the retriever having a bask in the sun for the first few minutes).
Or if you want a routine that’s designed for people who sit at a desk, then check out our video here
If you do the stretching routines, and you find something really difficult (or harder than the rest of it), then you should do a little extra on that exercise, or perhaps try and do that particular exercise a few times in a week. You’ll often find that you improve really quickly.
You’d be amazed at the difference
By finding out what doesn’t move so well, and focussing on that area, you’ll be amazed how quickly things start to feel better. Even things you didn’t know were restricted start to feel easier.
We hope you’ve found this useful and we’d love to hear your favourite stretches. If you want our help and advice on which stretches would be best for you specifically, then please get in touch.