Flexibility training and regular stretching is something most people put on the backseat when it comes to fitness. But most injuries and issues with range of motion come from tight and underactive muscles. Stretching allows you to gradually increase range of motion and activate weak muscles.
A flexible joint will require less energy to move through a wider range of motion, which in turn will improve overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements. This means you’ll be able to lunge lower, squat deeper and jump higher – leading to more effective workouts!
When should I stretch?
Stretching once today won’t magically give you perfect flexibility. You’ll need to do it over time and remain committed! Stretching any time is better than never at all, but different types of stretching at different times have been found to be more beneficial
Before you train:
- Try some dynamic stretching. If you regularly attend our live HIIT classes, 5 burpees, 10 press ups, 15 squats and 20 groniers might sound familiar! These moves help to warm the body up and provide some dynamic stretches for the chest, hips and hamstrings getting your muscles ready and prepared for the movement ahead.
Straight after you train:
- Static stretching is best for after your workout. Look to hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds. You should feel tension in the stretch, but not pain. Keep your breathing smooth and calm to help ease the tension from the muscle.
Any other time:
- Gentle stretches throughout the course of the day are always a good idea. Especially if you sit at a desk all day! It’s so easy to sit with bad posture bringing stress to the neck and shoulders. Try some simple neck stretches and gentle twists to help loosen up and have a break.
We encourage all our clients to stretch regularly and run a FLEX class every Monday as part of our FIT IN SIX programme which is a guided class focused on performing simple stretched for the whole body.