The human body uses over 600 muscles to keep us moving, so it makes perfect sense giving them a stretch will help maintain optimal conditioning. Stretching as little as 2 or 3 times a week using the right techniques can make a noticeable difference to your flexibility and overall well-being. Regular stretching also positively impacts your ligaments, tendons, nerve channels and other connective tissues and helps in avoiding injuries.
Pushing muscles beyond their boundaries is a common cause of sports-related injury. You have limited motion when your muscles are tight or not conditioned properly for intense physical activity. Increasing your flexibility by gradually introducing a tailored stretching program around your exercise routines will do wonders for the body and further protect it from nasty injuries.
Apart from these obvious benefits, stretching can also:
- Improve your bend, reach and turn of the body
- Reduce aches, pains, and stiffness
- Reduce fatigue
- Improve posture
- Promote circulation
- Increase energy
- Reduce Stress
- Improve vascular health
Stretching is not a quick fix
It has been shown that only stretching immediately before intensive physical activity may actually have a negative impact on athletic performance as a one-off instance. So doing one or two stretches every now and then isn’t going to help.
Don’t consider stretching as part of a warmup. You could hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. Before stretching, do a warm up comprised of light walking, jogging or biking at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. Also, stretch straight after your workout when your muscles are warm.
Taking 5 minutes to do a few stretches before and after each workout will, over time, improve your flexibility and keep your muscles lean and healthy. Most athletes, coaches and trainers include stretching into flexibility training as a regular part of their preparation, which is an example of athletes recognising the benefits of consistent long-term stretching.
How stretching improves performance
So how do we receive the benefits of stretching in flexibility training that will prevent injuries and increase performance? Firstly, get yourself assessed by a physician or a trainer for any weaknesses or imbalances of your performance. These specialists can design programs for physical improvement. Applied over the long term, and as your flexibility improves, so does your athletic performance and resilience to injury.
Chat with a Knee/ Shoulder Specialist in Perth
A proper warm up and cool down regime will protect you and help prevent muscle and joint injuries. Perth’s specialist orthopaedic surgeon Dr Jens Buelow can help you through the pain discomfort of knee and shoulder arthritis, tendon tears and a wide range of other injuries caused by improper stretching and flexibility routines. Consultations with Dr Buelow can be made here, or by calling (08) 9212 4200