What happens when you don't stretch? Nothing...for a while. You keep working out, lifting, doing cardio. You're eating healthy and making gains. You're doing everything right, aren't you? Stretching is for people who do Yoga or for people older than....well, older than you anyway.
Then one day, you wake up and roll out of bed and you feel the dreaded "twinge." You immediately start to stretch, but it doesn't get better. You try to do a hamstring stretch and you realize that your fingers are much further from your toes then they used to be. You do a glute stretch and are barely able to pull your leg over your body and the pull you feel is intense.
The pain seems to ease up and you feel like you dodged a bullet. Back pain...that's for people who aren't healthy and don't work out. You keep working out, lifting weights, doing cardio. Eventually you notice that your back is aching while you're sitting at work and it's really uncomfortable. Finally, you have to admit that you might actually have "back pain." Alas, the time has time.
Now what? Well, it may not feel great to admit that if you had stretched more then you might have been able to prevent this, but either way, you find yourself with back pain. Now what matters is what you do with this. Use this time to teach yourself about your muscles, stretches and how to care for your body so it can keep doing what you ask it to do. Treat your body well and it will treat you well back! Here's a few tips on stretching that will come in handy.
Use this time to teach yourself about your muscles, stretches and how to care for your body so it can keep doing what you ask it to do.
1.) Stretch Safely.
There's no need to stretch vigorously or until you feel pain, simply stretch until you feel a nice pull in the muscles you're targeting. Eventually you'll be able to reach farther and gain flexibility.
2.) Stretch Regularly.
In order for this to be beneficial it needs to be a regular part of your routine. Aim for 3-4 times a week. It doesn't need to be a marathon routine, but it needs to last longer than a few minutes.
3.) Holding the Position
We're all in a hurry, but holding a stretch for 30 seconds is crucial. It takes that long for your muscles to adapt and gain some length. Aim for 30 second holds with 5 repetitions on each side.
4. Don't Bounce
You may feel a little bored stretching (Netflix anyone?) but resist the urge to bounce your legs while you're stretching. The short bursts can put stress on already too-tight muscles.
If you're unsure of what muscles you should be stretching in regards to the pain you're struggling with, let us help you out! We can come up with a personalized routine that will help you deal with whatever aches and pains you've got! Call us at (206) 588-0014 or check us out online at www.trilogychiro.com