We all know the importance of exercising but what about the importance of stretching? Stretching shouldn’t take a back seat to your health and wellness routine as it can help improve your range of motion and decrease your risk of injury – among other benefits!
Studies have shown stretching can help improve flexibility, and, as a result, the range of motion in your joints.
Better flexibility may:
- Improve your performance in physical activities
- Decrease your risk of injuries
- Help your joints move through their full range of motion
- Increase muscle blood flow
- Enable your muscles to work most effectively
- Improve your ability to do daily activities
Before you jump into stretching it’s important to make sure you do it safely and effectively. Just like any other exercise, the technique is key!
Use these tips to prioritize safe stretching.
- Don’t consider stretching a warmup. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. We recommend warming up with light walking, jogging, or biking at a low intensity for 5-10 minutes. Or, of course, after your workout!
- Strive for symmetry. Everyone’s genetics for flexibility are different. Focus on having equal flexibility side to side.
- Focus on major muscle groups. Concentrate your stretches on major muscle groups such as calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck, and shoulders.
- Don’t bounce. Stretching should be a smooth movement. Bouncing as you stretch can injure your muscle and may contribute to muscle tightness.
- Hold your stretch. As you work through the various muscle groups remember to breathe normally and hold each stretch for about 30 seconds.
- Keep up with your stretching. Though stretching can be time-consuming you can achieve the most benefits by stretching regularly, at least two to three times a week.
At MINT we’ve designed a dedicated stretching area at the front of the club, right next to our Member Lounge! Enjoy a quiet, light-filled area, with plenty of room to stretch and some equipment to help!