One of the most overlooked, and under-appreciated, aspects of our fitness lives is keeping our flexibility. What a lot of people don’t understand is that stretching should be done on a regular basis or daily in order to keep us strong and injury-free.
While weight lifting builds strength, stretching increases the range that we can effectively use our strength. Stretching holds strong benefits for preventing pain, with not only physical performance, but also our everyday lives.
Just some light stretching daily could mean the difference between living in chronic pain or being able to pick up gardening pots off the ground, pain-free.
This is because when you have greater mobility, it uses muscles throughout the whole movement. When you are not flexible it pulls on joints throughout certain parts of your lifts because it ‘can’t reach’. This also means that the likelihood of injuries greatly decreases.
Stretching can increase performance by making your movements more efficient. For example, when running or walking, having muscles that comfortably move at a fully extended length means that your stride length can be increased and move faster with less effort.
Make you taller
Although stretching doesn’t physically make us taller human beings, it can help with our posture to maximise our body’s natural height. It’s surprising how many of us aren’t actually standing the full centimetres that we are. This is because tight muscles are pulling more than they should and making us hunch over to avoid pain, ironically making us more injured in the long run. However, this can all be easily fixed with some post-workout light stretching holds.