OUCH! 5 Stretching Mistakes You Will Regret

October 11, 2017

Ouch! That REALLY HURT! Have you ever experienced this reaction with exercising/stretching? Working in the field of Physical Therapy and Yoga I am constantly working with patients and students, helping them find the happy medium with flexibility, mobility and ROM. It's important to note that over-stretching can lead to strains/sprains. So, TAKE IT SLOW and stretch DAILY. As we age it is important to note that our muscles start to lose elasticity, however, we can maintain flexibility if we keep up with stretching daily. 

 

HOLDING BREATH

When in a static hold utilize your breath for about 20-30 seconds to give your muscles the oxygen they need!

 

BOUNCE 

NO, I didn't mean your muscles. Often times moving fast and adding that bounce can cause tiny tears and pinched nerves. Take it slow and go at your own pace. Tips: always keep a micro-bend in the knees and pivot your feet when transitioning.

 

STRETCHING COLD

If you are starting your stretching exercises in anything other than a heated sauna, yoga room or warm environment, be gentle with your muscles. Think "taffy"- your muscles need time to warm or they can SNAP. Give yourself time for a gentle 5-minute warm up and then get into it. 

 

 NOT YOUR DAILY CUP OF TEA

I get it- we are all busy and all trying to maximize our time. But stretching only when you are getting ready to play a sport or workout is not recommended. Get into a routine of stretching for 10 minutes every a.m. I pick 5 stretches I LOVE then switch the next week. So find few stretches you love the most and get into them right when you roll out of bed you silly bedhead. :) 

 

ANTAGO-WHAT?

Ever heard of antagonist and agonist muscle pairing? Basically as one muscle contracts the opposing muscle relaxes. Think of biceps and triceps. These are a pair. If you work a muscle with a weight-try to stretch that same muscle group to balance out your body. Resistive exercises are great and work to build more strength- but don't forget to stretch.it.out. 

 

OVERALL - AIM to HAVE FUN WITH IT and your body will thank you. 

 

Namaste, 

 

Amy J 

 

 

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