The Importance of Stretching
Hi everybody, whether you plan to walk or run the Boru3peaks we all need to stretch. Exercise can shorten a person’s muscles, decreasing mobility over time. Stretching keeps the muscles in the body flexible. Benefits of good flexibility include good joint mobility & less chance of injury. It can also help with posture and reduce the risk of low back problems.
Muscles respond better when they’ve been warmed up. Warming up can be as simple as walking for five to ten minutes, just enough to get the blood flowing through the body. Pre exercise stretches should be held for 8-12 seconds while post exercise stretches should be held for 15-30 seconds. Stretches are held to the point of tension, if the stretch hurts ease off, equally if you start to shake you’ve gone too far and you’ve lost the stretch so ease off. Resistant bands or a scarf may aid you with some stretches.
Here are just a few key leg stretches you can incorporate into your workouts.
Quadriceps or quads as they are better know are the muscles to the front an sides of your thighs.
To stretch them, stand upright and pull your leg behind you with the corresponding hand and hold your shoe by the shoelaces. Try to keep your knee pointing downward as you do this stretch to protect your knee joint. You can use a chair to balance yourself. Repeat with other leg. Stretching your quads is especially important after a hilly run.
Hamstrings are the muscles to the rear of your upper leg. Lying on your back for this stretch, keep your head and hips on the floor, bend both knees and extend one leg up keeping it straight, place your hand above or below the knee joint and gently pull the leg towards you. You may use a band or scarf to help you. Repeat with other leg.
Calf muscles are on the back of your lower legs, To stretch your calf muscles, stand close to a wall with your right foot behind your left. Start to bend your left leg forward while keeping your right leg straight behind you.. Be sure not to bend the right knee and to keep your right foot firmly on the ground pointing straight ahead. Straighten your back and keep you head up, looking straight ahead. Repeat with other leg.
Until next time, happy training
Fiona Ward is a Fitness Instructor with TFX Fitness