Stretching is super important because it keeps our muscles strong, flexible, ++ ready for all of our intense workouts. It’s also great for improving circulation ++ stress relief [which is why we love yoga!]. There are multiple stretching techniques but we’ll discuss two main styles,, static + dynamic stretching —
This technique of stretching involves holding a stretch for an extended period of time [30 seconds!]. This will allow the muscle tendons to relax, increasing flexibility + range of motion. Most people are more familiar with this type of stretching, since they include the basics like —
Dynamic movement stretching, on the other hand, is all about the movement while you stretch. This can be done with the same exact stretches performed during static stretching, but the routine calls for moving through the motions [no // little hold time required]. It’s primary purpose is to get your body effectively ready for what’s ahead by getting your heart pumping + body heated as you simultaneously stretch your muscles out. They loosen up the joints ++ serve as the bodies *rehearsal* exercises prior to the real deal. Some stretches include —
>> Arm circles
>> Vinyasa flow
WHEN TO DO WHAT
Studies suggest that static stretching should be done after exercise [to cool the body down], + that dynamic should be done before [to get your body pumped up for further physical movement.] Stretching has the dual benefit of being both good for your body pre + post workout, as well as your mental health // well-being — so keep on stretchin’!
Keep in mind that, similar to weightlifting or any other physical activity, the quality of the stretch is what’s most important part. Make sure that you’re executing the right movements, ++ that you’re not [at any point during the movement] in any pain. A little discomfort is expected [of which we can handle ; )], but never anything that would make you flinch — that likely means you’ve pushed yourself too far! As with anything in life, you can only improve with practice, + can’t expect to achieve perfection in a single day. : )
No matter the stretch, though, remember to *breathe!* We CHAARG girls need a moment to relax sometimes, ++ stretching is the perfect physical outlet to release some tension [literally, + physically!]. As with any form of exercise — your body will certainly thank you for giving your muscles some much needed relief.
+ Becca [@becc_inchaarg] // [UMD CHAARG]