We all know how beneficial stretching can be for our mind and body and although it can seem time consuming, it doesn’t have to be! Even 5 minutes first thing in the morning, after a workout, or before bed will see you reaping in the benefits.
Let’s outline a few of these amazing benefits to get you motivated to stretch those muscles!
Increase your range of motion
Stretching lengthens the targeted muscles, increasing blood flow to the region and allowing them to become more flexible, strong, and healthy. Flexibility looks different on everyone, but stretching across the board allows us to maintain the range of motion in our joints, not only to benefit our workouts, but to improve our functionality in day to day life.
Have you ever woken up on the first or second day post workout, and felt tightness in the muscles you’d worked the day or two prior? This is known as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and is a feeling many of us know all too well. Whilst we can’t prevent DOMS, we can absolutely do things to reduce it! Stretching before your sessions will increase the blood flow to the targeted areas prior to your workout, ensuring your muscles are prepped and ready. Post session, taking time to stretch will allow your body adequate time to cool down, lengthen the muscles worked and calm your mind in the process.
Improved muscle recruitment
Stretching prior to a workout increases awareness surrounding muscles you’re trying to target. Mind muscle connection is so important in all workouts, ensuring you are recruiting the correct muscles and executing good form, which is why stretching prior to a workout is so beneficial!
Tightness across certain muscle groups can lead to negative changes in posture, for example tight chest muscles can cause rounded shoulders and tight glutes can lead to a swayed back. This is why stretching is so beneficial for your posture – it creates length in tight muscles and allows posture to remain tall, proud and aligned.
In moments of stress, our heart rate increases, breathing becomes shallow, and muscles tighten. Stretching allows us to take the time to slow down and recover, slows our breathing, and not only lengthens our muscles but calms our mind. It’s about taking time to stop, breathe and find stillness.
Indeed self-care can look like face masks and bubble baths, but sometimes gentle movement is exactly what we need to reenergise. When you don’t feel up to completing a full workout, even 5 minutes of stretching will still increase blood flow, lengthen muscles, and make you feel so much better! Always listen to your body, breathe through your movement, and be present throughout your stretching to really make the most of it.
It’s no secret that I love workouts that really get the heart pumping, and Cardio Pilates does exactly that…
Hey KIC Mummas, we have some brand new Pilates flows and stretch sessions waiting for you in app! Want to know more? Read the blog!
Yoga has taught me to give back to my body, to balance out the intense workouts I do that put stress on my body, with flows that help recover and strengthen my body in a different way.