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Should I be stretching?

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Let’s talk flexibility – do I really need to be able to tie myself in knots for optimal health?

No, absolutely not.

Of course, to some extent we can all benefit from stretching whether we are up on our feet and training three times a day or whether we are sat in an office chair for three quarters of the day and the sofa for the rest.

Chance are if you aren’t flexible, you hate stretching – am I right?

But it is likely necessary in some, if not many, areas for you, so let’s get to it.

People often get the whole stretching (and foam rolling but that’s for another day!!) thing wrong. They stretch things that don’t need stretching and neglect the things that do.

You need to find YOUR areas and YOUR optimal – forget what your yoga teacher looks like or Sharon on the next mat, you do you.

Flexibility, first and foremost, will help you to avoid injury, sportsperson or not. The amount of time that we now spend sitting as a population, in cars, at desks, dinner tables and on sofas is vastly unhealthy. We don’t move enough and we certainly don’t move enough through our end ranges of motion – here in lies the issue we decrease flexibility and create imbalances through that body of yours causing aches, pains and worse.

We need to be prepared for anything that life throws at us, that’s certainly my ethos around training anyway. Let’s not allow our flexibility allow us to be at a greater injury risk from simple life activities. If you can’t safely move at speed to end ranges squatting, lunging, bending, pulling, pushing, twisting, running, all the good stuff, then we have a problem that needs addressing.

Inflexibility can lead to poor movement and improper mechanics in the daily lifting of heavy things as just one example, putting us in danger of injury, of course.

Posture is another thing really important for us to focus on in terms of keeping those bodies balanced – we’re prone to creating imbalances due to the way we stand, the way we sit, the way we carry a bag, the side we pick up the kids and sit them on our hip, none of it helps! We must work on good posture and balance alongside our flexibility to keep the correct alignment in that body – sit and stand evenly! If we don’t, we place abnormal strain and load onto muscles and tendons.

If you think you have a poor posture this stretching and flexibility work is even more important – it’s a great indication that we need to work on lengthening the muscles that we find short while also strengthening those that are weaker.

Out tighter muscles become dominant while our weaker ones become lazy compounding problems over time – the reason why imbalances, posture issues and muscle and joint problems develop.

We work in the gym on addressing these imbalances to enable you to go through life firing on all cylinders, because as I said, that’s what I’m all about as a coach – not building the next Olympic medallist, there are other coaches out there for that, but rather building stronger, happier and healthier bodies to perform at life every day.

Shout if you think I might be able to help you!

Peace and love, A x

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