Are You Making These Stretching Mistakes?
By Sara Butler
No one is perfect. You may think you are doing something good for yourself, such as stretching, only to find out that what you’re doing is all wrong. Don’t be discouraged! Learning is a lifelong process and making mistakes is a natural part of the process. If you routinely stretch then you need to see if you are making any of these common stretching mistakes so you can fix them and do it right!
You’re Not Stretching Enough – Or At All!
It’s easy to focus on the parts of your workout that get you results, such as your cardio and strength training. Taking the time to stretch will actually increase your overall performance in those areas, which is why it’s important to get in some stretching to improve your range of motion and posture. If you work to increase your mobility through stretching then you’ll also prevent those muscle imbalances your chiropractor is trying to help you work out!
The solution to this problem is simple: Make the time to stretch as a part of your workout. Just a few minutes of stretching each day can have awesome benefits.
Warming Up Through Static Stretching
Static stretching is when you hold a stretch for a period of time. If you do this before you exercise it’s not really going to help your performance or help you to avoid injury. You should incorporate dynamic stretching into your warm-up routine by moving through the range of motion of your body parts. Hip circles, leg swings, and arm swings can help to get you going and get you the results you’re looking for. Save the static stretches for after your workout.
Forcing the Stretch
Forcing a stretch is no fun. You can really hurt yourself if you force your body to go beyond its limits. Sure, you have to push yourself a little in order to increase flexibility, but a stretch should never be uncomfortable or hurt lest you increase your chances of injury or damage to your muscles.
The solution to this one is simple; just listen to what your body is trying to tell you as your stretch. Don’t stretch to the point of pain and recognize when your body is telling you that it’s gone far enough.
Stretching is great for you and it’s something everyone should be doing whether they workout or not. But doing it is only half the battle, knowing how to do it right will help you to win your flexibility war!