Why is Flexibility Training important?
Flexibility, pain-free range of motion at a joint, tends to decrease as we age, often due to a sedentary lifestyle. Daily activities become more difficult to perform over time. Staying physically active and stretching regularly will prevent this loss of mobility as we age. Stretching should be included in every workout to encourage improvement and maintain overall flexibility. Flexibility Training is a form of active relaxation that can improve mental and physical recovery. Once the workout is complete, clients can focus on relaxation and rejuvenation of the mind and body. Flexibility is done after workout when the muscles are warm and pliable allowing for more stretch and ability to stretch farther. A benefit of stretching is to reduce stress in the exercising muscles to release tension and tightness developed during a workout. Being flexible also reduces chronic back pain.
What does Flexibility Training look like?
Examples of Stretching Exercises (Static Stretch/hold 30 seconds)
-Focus one muscle group at a time
-Stretch the muscle until gentle tension is felt in the target muscle
– it should never be painful
-Stretching is never jerking, bouncing or forcing
– Slide into the stretch
-Breathe through the stretch, never hold your breath
Neck Stretches– Ear to Shoulder- Drop your right ear down towards your right shoulder. Concentrate on separating your ear from your shoulder.
Head turns- Look over shoulder
Chin to chest– Look Down
Shoulder Stretch-Bring your arm across your chest and gently pull the arm with the opposite hand towards your chest and hold
Upper Back- Clasp hands together in front and gently push them forward, separating your shoulder blades apart
Hug Stretch– Give yourself a big hug and hold
Ballerina Stretch– Put one arm overhead and very slightly lean to the side and hold