Why are people so reluctant to take 10 minutes to stretch, yet they scroll for hours at a time? Stretching makes your body feel good, your mind refreshed, reduces stress, and requires no equipment. Scrolling through social media makes you tense, angry, requires a device, and is proven to deteriorate your health. Seems like an easy decision to me!
Maybe it’s a macho thing for guys; we skip the stretching and go right to the lifting. Probably because stretching is never mentioned in bodybuilding magazines and Instagram. They show hulking dudes lifting ungodly amounts of weight and never the preparation that goes into warming up and cooling down. From experience, I rarely to never stretched in my 20’s and 30’s before working out. Sometimes I did after, and never anything more than a few minutes.
Women are different creatures who will take the time to stretch before and after. Not all women do; many still go straight to lifting or doing their cardio. Women’s fitness magazines and social media influencers will do more stretching than men, though still not the majority of them. They are more focused on glute and inner thigh exercises.
If you have 10 minutes to scroll, you have 10 minutes to stretch. A simple stretching program can be done in 10 minutes or less at your desk, before and after a workout, or on a recovery day. Stretching three-to-four major body parts requires no sweating or workout clothing. You can even do a stretch routine standing, so no rolling on the floor with a mat. It really is that easy to feel better and improve your flexibility and range of motion.
For most people, the front parts of our body are the tightest from sitting most of the day. The muscles along the backside of us are weak and over-lengthened, the caveat being calf muscles. Start with those front muscles like your quadriceps, hip flexors, abdominals, chest, shoulders, biceps, and cervical flexors. These muscles are in dire need of a good stretch! You can stretch those areas daily and not worry about causing damage and overuse. If you work out regularly, hopefully you’re lifting with all of the major body parts, including those in your posterior chain. In that case, you do want to stretch those after a workout to return them to their proper length-tension relationship.
As a Stretching & Flexibility Coach, I can help you develop a customized flow for your specific tight areas. Everyone is different, and stretching programs are not one-size-fits-all programs. I assess you with various movements to see how your body reacts in space. From these assessments, a program for your specific needs is created to assist you in achieving whatever fitness goals you have. Maybe you don’t work out and are in pain constantly from a certain movement pattern. I can also determine this and work with you to change bad movement habits and create better ones for your work and activities. Reach out to me for more info and a free assessment at email@example.com.
An example of a lower body stretch program can be like this:
The total time for this easy routine is under 10 minutes, and you hit the major muscles of the lower body. It really is that simple!
Invest a short amount of time into yourself. I guarantee you’ll feel better than you do from reading fake news on Facebook and Twitter.