Exercising regularly, healthy eating and drinking enough water are necessary to stay fit. But did you know that stretching has many benefits and contributes to your fitness goals?
I start my daily routine with a warm-up that consists of walking or biking for 15 minutes. After I finish my warm-up, but before my workout routine, I always stretch when the muscles are warm. You should stretch before or after a workout but never before the warm-up.
• Stretching prevents injuries, especially when we age, and reduces muscle soreness.
• Reduces stress and improves overall athletic performance.
• When you stretch regularly, it helps to improve your flexibility and range of joint motion.
• Improves your circulation because of the increase in blood flow and supply of nutrients to muscles and cartilage, which at the same time is also beneficial for your muscles.
• Stretching also helps to improve your posture.
It’s important to be patient when starting your stretching routine. Gaining flexibility for most people is a slow process, but you’ll improve day by day! I recommend stretching every day as part of your daily routine. Some people are more flexible than others, but it’s possible to improve and gain flexibility. You can start doing a basic stretching exercise, and you will see how your body quickly responds and becomes more flexible
Here Are Some Tips For Stretching Properly
1. Warm-up: As I mentioned before, a warm-up is a must before you stretch. Warming up your body will give you a better range of movement and help with injury prevention.
2. Smooth movements: Don’t push so hard or bounce! Just relax and focus on a smooth, constant movement. Push yourself, but pain is not necessary to realize the benefits of stretching.
3. Practice your stretch routine and do it for your entire body. Focus in your upper and lower body but do it properly. You can stretch your legs, including your hamstrings, calves and hips. For your upper body, you can stretch your neck, shoulders, biceps, triceps etc.
4. Breathe normally when you stretch and remember that stretching needs to be done in smooth movements.
5. Wear proper clothes for an optimal stretch technique.
6. Take your time. I recommend holding for 30 to 40 seconds, and don’t forget to breathe.
7. If you play tennis, golf, basketball, swim or practice other sports, you will need different and specific stretching routines that help you reach your goals.
8. Always consult your doctor before starting exercise routines, including stretching.
9. Don’t stretch if you have injuries! My recommendation is to find a good therapist who can help you do it properly.
Upper Body Stretching
Upper and lower back, including your scapulae
Stretch your entire upper body, including triceps, abs and back
Stretch your arms and wrist: Do the same movement as the picture and switch hands
Lumbar extension, including ab
Lower Body Stretching
Butterfly stretch for abductors