Our Thrive Expert in fitness – James Golden helps you with simple daily stretches to ensure that your staying flexible.
Flexibility is a key component of fitness and is essential to our wellbeing, yet often overlooked by many of us. Movement efficiency is a primary objective to any effective training programme. Poor hamstring mobility is one of the most common causes of lower back problems and can provide ongoing issues if neglected. I will always ensure the clients I work with understand the benefits of good movement and I emphasise the fact that this should not be secondary to weight loss, increasing muscle mass and improving cardiovascular fitness. The long-term benefits of good flexibility can be enhanced if your body moves better or more efficiently. If a person is not able to move a joint freely through its full range of motion, then that joint is under pressure straight away and the risk of injury is increased even before attempting to pick up a weight or hold a posture.
It’s not always about achieving difficult postures or positions when it comes to exercise. It can simply be about stretching and achieving the range of motion that your own body is comfortable with. Focus on achieving a small amount of mobility and movement every single day.
I will always recommend a period of time either before/after training or even on a separate day that is dedicated to improving mobility. Something as little as 5-10 minutes daily can be enough to see longer term progress. Numerous studies support the short and long-term benefits of daily stretching, including static stretching, dynamic stretching, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), just to name a few.
Whatever your fitness objectives are within your own training session, my advice will always be to prepare your body, to properly allow it to execute the movements during your workout or activity. In order to do this, I suggest mobilising the joints and dynamically applying certain movements to lengthen the key muscle groups.
Once you have completed your main workout, always to remember to stretch your muscles to help to reduce muscular fatigue. When you stretch after training, your muscles are far warmer then when you started, so you will notice that they are inclined to stretch further, which will support long term flexibility.
Ensuring an effective post-workout stretch will ultimately help your muscles to recover and help reduce the risk of soreness.
It’s not always about achieving difficult postures or positions when it comes to exercise. It can simply be about stretching and achieving the range of motion that your own body is comfortable with.
See below my top 8 reasons why you should be stretching on a regular basis.
1. Reduce risk of injury
2. To ensure a good range of motion can be achieved
3. Maintain and improve muscular function
4. Enhance the performance
5. Improve blood flow and circulation
6. To take pressure away from the joints
7. To maintain a good quality of life and be pain free
8. Decrease stress on the body
Whatever your goal and objectives are through exercise, it is crucial that any fitness programme that you apply yourself to has a degree of focus towards stretching your body and maintaining mobility. See a few simple stretches to improve the movement of the hamstrings, lower back, quadriceps, inner and outer thigh will help maintain and improve your lower limb control.
James Golden AKA The Fitness Pro – Self Employed Fitness Professional and Head of Fitness on the YOLO Retreat fitness programme