The most effective ways to stretch
Stretching gets a bad wrap in the fitness industry. Mostly because some trainers and coaches think it’s ineffective because they don’t know how to do it properly. It’s not because they are bad trainers or coaches, it’s because they haven’t spent the time learning about flexibility training and effective ways of achieving it.
Today we’re going to go over 4 ways to stretch properly. If you follow these 4 steps, you’ll see major improvements. But, just like any technique, you have to put the work in. Although you’ll feel instant relief after just one training session, you’ll need to continue stretching in order to maintain your results. However, the nice thing about flexibility training is it also feels good. Which makes it easier to stick with!
Read on for the 4 steps to stretching properly.
Step 1: Mindset.
You need to be open to the fact that you can improve your flexibility. If you have a negative mentality towards achieving flexibility you’ll never succeed. Only thinking you can become flexible won’t make you more flexible unfortunately, but believing you can will allow your brain and nervous system to relax and adapt to the stretching positions and movements.
Step 2: Technique order.
There are different flexibility techniques and stretching exercises. The order in which you do them has a major impact on how effective they are. Your warmup should consist of dynamic stretching exercises, you can then move on to active stretching exercises and finish with static stretching exercises.
Step 3: Core training.
One of the biggest misconceptions about becoming more flexible is that it doesn’t include strength training. Quite the opposite. The core muscles must work effectively in order for the entire body to remain or become more flexible. It’s important to train all the core muscles, not only the abdominals. A combination of abdominal and back strengthening exercises are important in a stretching program.
Step 4: Breathe.
Breathing is vital to life and especially when it comes to achieving flexibility. One of the main reasons we become more flexible is because our nervous systems recognize the positions or movements we are performing as safe. A relaxed breath will help calm the nervous system and train it to recognize the new positions and movements as normal.
If you apply these 4 steps to your flexibility routine, you’ll notice a huge improvement. The days of forcing people into painful positions and forcing them to hold them are gone. We’ve learned so much since then. Both scientifically and practically. Stretching doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to hurt in order to be effective.
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