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In almost every activity or sport, stretching has always been a typical way to warm up the body and get it ready for action. However, you do not have to be an elite athlete to reap the rewards. Learn the benefits of stretching and how to. Bonus: Brenda Kelly's stretching and flexibility tips!
Stretch & Grow!
By: Dale Buchanan
Certified Fitness Trainer
In almost every activity or sport, stretching has always been a typical way to "warm up" the body and get it ready for action. However, you do not have to be an elite athlete to reap the rewards. It is my opinion that stretching, when done properly is the most effective way to fully connect your mind and body through your breath, and should be incorporated into every fitness program.
Below are some of the benefits of stretching:
- Reduce muscle and joint tensions to help make the body more relaxed.
- Help's coordination and range of motion by allowing for freer movement.
- Prevent injuries such as muscle strains, sprains, and pulls.
- Makes strenuous activity easier by preparing the muscles for activity.
- Develop body awareness and focus, as you become in-touch with your muscles.
- Promote circulation by sending oxygen and blood to your muscles.
- Speeds the healing process of injured or over trained muscles.
- Fascial Stretching, developed by John Parrillo, can actually build muscle and make you stronger.
- Best of all, it clears your mind and makes you feel good!
How to Stretch:
- Hold each stretch in one position for about 30 seconds without bouncing.
- Breath slow and deep as you stretch and hold.
- Clear your mind and focus on the muscles being stretched, visualize them letting go and relaxing throughout the entire stretch.
- Relax the entire body; never go past the point of serious discomfort or pain.
- Stretch the entire body, especially the shoulders, hips, and legs daily.
- Stretching after the body is warmed up will produce better results?be sure to stretch after every cardio and weight training session.
- Use stretching as the "cool down" phase of your workout.
- Stretch between sets while weight training to help the targeted muscle recover faster and grow bigger.
Having a partner assist you while you focus on letting go and breathing will produce tremendous results. Your partner has to be familiar with the stretches and your body. Communication is a must when doing partner stretching and should only be performed by a trained professional. There are many books and videos to get you started. The best way to learn the proper technique is to hire a Personal Fitness Trainer experienced and well educated in Flexibility Training.
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