Do you know the number one thing that causes aches and pains and makes a person feel old? Tight muscles and a lack of flexibility!
Much attention is given to building muscle, but not enough on how to keep muscles and other soft tissues like ligaments and tendons loose and flexible. Is flexibility really that important? Yes! It’s crucial actually.
Here are a few benefits of flexibility:
Muscle imbalances are one of the most common reasons for injuries during physical activities. This means some muscles are overactive (tight) while others are underactive. Flexibility helps to correct this issue.
Loose muscles that are less tense will alleviate those common aches and pains.
Better Posture and Balance
Increased muscular flexibility typically leads to improved posture. Plus, the increased range of motion helps with balance.
Stretching and opening up the body leads to feelings of physical relaxation, which in turn leads to a sense of peace and calm.
Improved Physical Performance
Once you have increased your flexibility, your muscles will be able to work more effectively. This will allow better movement and therefore better physical performance.
So now that you know the benefits of muscle flexibility, let’s take a look at some simple stretches you can do to improve yours. The use of resistance bands makes these exercises safe, precise, and easy, so if you don’t have any, pick up one or two online.
A quick note:
Stretching should be done only after a light warmup of the muscles. This could be doing some jumping jacks in place for a minute or two or using a treadmill or stationary bike for 3-5 minutes. The idea is to get the blood flowing to your muscles to make them ready for stretching.
Also, stretching should feel GOOD. You should never force a stretch or feel any pain. Only use just enough tension to deepen the stretch just enough.
Now, here are a few resistance band stretches to help you become more flexible:
Lie on the floor with the resistance band looped around your right foot. Grab the band closer to your foot to create tension. Now straighten your right leg as much as you comfortably can while keeping the left leg bent on the floor. Gently pull the right leg towards you, stretching the back of the leg.
Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and switch sides.
Upper Back Stretch
Sit on the floor with your legs extended out and loop the band around both feet. Cross the band and grab onto each side with both hands close to the feet. Gently curl your back, stretching it towards the back of the room and using the bands to create tension and add to the stretch. Keep your abs contracted and concentrate on feeling your shoulder blades spreading open.
Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds.
You can do this stretch on the floor, sitting in a cross-legged position, or seated upright in a chair. Grip the band with your hands a few inches apart. Gently pull your arms out and down as low as you can to stretch the chest. If you need to adjust the tension, simply change the position of your hands on the band to tighten or loosen the grip.
These are only a few stretches, but they cover some of the biggest muscle groups and so are great to start with. You can go on Youtube to find more resistance band stretches.
We are also happy to develop a stretch routine that is suited specifically for your body and any issues you may be having. Not only do we help clients through chiropractic adjustments, but we also help to design exercise and stretching routines that will keep their joints healthy. Call us today.