The Fit Five is a new series on Fitnish.com where 5 simple and easy tips are given to help you with a specific topic, exercise or goal that you are trying to achieve. It will give a concise and quick guide to getting the right information that you may require and may not have thought about yet.
In this Fit Five we are looking at stretching. Whether its 10 minutes of stretching after your workouts or stretching in the hopes of one day being able to do the splits, these 5 tips can definitely help get you on the right path.
1. Always warm up.
Cold muscles are more prone to injury and are less flexible, so to get the most out of your stretching session and to avoid injury, make sure to do it only when you are thoroughly warmed up.
2. Never force it.
When it comes to stretching you want to ease into the stretches and poses and consciously relax in order to have a ‘release’ into the stretch. You do not want to force yourself deeper into it. This can result in a lot pain and even injury.
3. Breathe deeply.
Treat stretching like a semi meditation. When you hold a stretch breathe deeply and aim to focus solely on your breath and the feeling.
4. With every breath out aim to go slightly deeper into the stretch even if its a millimetre.
This follows from number 3, as you breath out deeply you should feel a sense of release. With each release let go and ease a bit deeper into the stretch. If it pains slightly do not go any further into it.
5. Understand that some days you will be stiffer than others.
(A lot of factors are at play for example, how hard you trained the day before, what you trained, stress etc.). On these days don’t leave out stretching altogether but stretch ‘lighter.’ So don’t go as deep or push as deep as normal. Or do a short yoga flow.