Stretching is the one aspect of basic fitness that is most often overlooked by people. A good stretching routine improves your flexibility, which can decrease your risk for injury, reduce muscle tension and improve your athletic performance.
Do you have back pain? Did you know that back pain is associated with poor flexibility? If you sit all day long at a desk with poor posture, this can cause muscle tightening and later – muscle imbalances. Your chest muscles will become tight, which causes the upper back muscles to become overworked. This creates pain and spasm in the upper trapezius muscles, between the shoulder blades and in your neck. This is why it is important to have a good stretching routine.
When you spend prolonged periods in static postures or performing repetitive movements, certain muscles will inevitably become overworked and tight. It is important to stretch muscles that are short, tight or overworked.
Some Simple Stretching Routine Rules
- No bouncing (bouncing can cause microtears
- Do not force your muscles to stretch beyond the level of moderate discomfort. A forced stretch can result in serious INJURY!
- Gentle stretch (no pain).
- Hold for 30 seconds
- Perform daily or every other day
- Never stretch “cold” muscles. To prevent injury, always warm up with walking, cycling, etc for 10 minutes before stretching.