A workout just isn’t complete if you don’t stretch afterwards!

Too often, I hear people talk about how they don’t stretch or how they feel it’s not important. I read an article in MEN’S FITNESS called “Stretch or Die” by Rob Sulaver and I have to share this first paragraph with you, ESPECIALLY if you’re going to be working on improving your strength and muscle mass. This is SPOT ON!

“What happens when you don’t stretch? Nothing. For a while. You lift. You get stronger. You improve your diet a bit. You get leaner. You look good. Who needs to stretch? Stretching is for yoga girls and geriatrics. Then you wake up one day and you have a slight pain in your lower back. Nothing major. “Damn,” you say, as you roll out of bed. You instinctively try to stretch it out. Maybe you lean over and touch your toes, which, coincidentally are very far from the tips of your fingers. It helps a bit, so you forget about it. You keep training. In the weight room, you are an animal. Other people look at you and say your lifts are good. But you start to notice that after sitting all day at work, your lower back is aching. You try to stretch it out. Maybe you put your hands on your lower back and do the old man, hips forward stretch with a bustling sigh, but it lingers. Not the biggest deal though, because once you get warmed up at the gym, things feel A-okay. So you forget about it. You keep lifting. You keep getting stronger. You can now squat a small automobile, which feels good. But one day you’re doing a deep squat and you feel something tweak in your lower back. “Damn it,” you say as you rack the weight. That hurt. You don’t stretch it out this time because it’s hard to breathe. It feels like you need your spine popped back in place. Something’s wrong.”

So aside from preventing injury, stretching helps improve:

  • flexibility
  • improved flexibility = improved performance = improved strength
  • blood flow
  • improved blood flow = more energy
  • posture

Below is a link to some stretches Lorraine and I put together for the lower body. How long should you hold each stretch? As long as you need to! Some muscles may be tighter than others so listen to your body and hold each stretch accordingly, aiming for a minimum of 30 seconds. DO NOT stretch through pain – it should be pleasantly uncomfortable, and get into each stretch gradually.

GOOD TIP: If you don’t have time to stretch during the day or at the gym, save it for home. A good time to focus on stretching your muscles can be in the evening before bed, when you’re winding down either in front of the TV or after a hot shower.


Rima A.

One Response to “STRETCH IT OUT!!! PLEASE READ!!”

  1. Marla Says:

    Awesome!! I already bookmarked the stretches so I can do them every night 🙂 Thanks!!!


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