STRENGTH TRAINING AND STRETCHING
Strength training and stretching compliment each other and contribute to a healthy, fit and functioning body. Because it is important for muscles to be both strong and flexible, it is essential to include stretching in your fitness program. Many people work at jobs where they are sedentary and often hunched over a computer. This contributes to weak, inflexible muscles and muscular imbalances. Including a stretching routine as part of your strength training workouts will help you perform everyday activities with ease, help to decrease your chances of injuries, reduce discomfort caused by tight muscles and will enhance your strength training program.
Benefits of Stretching
• Stretching increases flexibility, which improves the range and motion of your joints, which improves your coordination making your everyday activities easier.
• Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Improved circulation can help injured muscles recover quicker and help remove waste products.
• Stretching regularly can help reduce muscle soreness from exercise.
• Stretching can help and/or eliminate back pain. Because muscle tightness in the quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors are a common causes of back pain, stretching can help and/or eliminate back pain.
• Strong, relaxed muscles will improve your posture. This will make you stand up straighter. Tight, weak muscles contribute to poor posture, which in turn can affect the functioning of your internal organs. This becomes even more important as you get older.
• Because stretching relaxes tense muscles, it is helpful in reducing stress.
• Stretching helps reduce your chances of injuries. When your muscles are very tight, you are more likely to pull and/or tear them.
• Don’t Bounce
• Don’t hold your breath, relax and breathe deep.
• Stretch to the point of discomfort, not beyond. Don’t force a stretch, it is normal to feel some tension, but do not force.
• Hold a stretch for 15-30 seconds, up to 3 repetitions.
• Stretch each major muscle group at least three times a week.
We are all unique, but generally, everyone, can benefit from a regular stretching program. To experience the benefits of stretching, it is not necessary to tie yourself in knots and perform advanced stretches. Simple, basic stretches performed on a regular basis will do the trick for most women, then, if you want to take it further, go for it! To learn more about how to incorporate stretching into your strength training program, contact Kari.
KARI LARSON - PERSONAL FITNESS TRAINER
Empowering, Educating and Inspiring Fitness for Life