Stretching Helps Posture
Stretching can help your overall flexibility, but it is also important for improving your posture. It can help manage the pain that is caused by tight muscles and help you stay balanced. For example, if you have a bad back or your chest muscles are overdeveloped, then you might suffer from underused back muscles. You can try simple chest stretches with arm rolls or by clasping your arms behind your back and pulling your shoulders up and down.
Stretching Can Help with Your Workouts
Certain workouts require a lot of flexibility, which is where stretching really shines. It can help you achieve those more difficult maneuvers, such as achieving the perfect pistol squat. In this particular example, having loose hips and hamstrings can make it easier to get even lower in your squats. As another example, having more rotation in your shoulders can help make your chest and arm exercises a lot easier.
Stretching Lowers the Risk of Injury
If you have tight muscles, you are more likely going to pull, tear, or strain something than if your muscles are loose and flexible. Stretching can help improve your range of motion, so you can do even more while exercising. For example, you can dramatically decrease your chances of straining your shoulder while doing a tough strength workout. This is because your muscles are flexible, enabling them to be able to stretch out farther and then bounce back into place.
Stretching Can Lessen Your Lower Back Pain
Having lower back pain is a common complaint in adults, and this is especially true if you spend most of your day sitting behind a desk. Even if you’re building your core muscles, they can still be tight and rigid. Exercise can do a lot, but it can’t fix everything. When your glutes, hips, and hamstrings are tight, it can put extra pressure on your spine in an attempt to keep your body aligned properly. This can lead to pain. When you stretch and loosen those muscles, your body can distribute your weight more evenly, which can reduce the amount of pain that you’re feeling.
Stretching Keeps Your Knees Healthy
Just like with lower back pain, many adults end up developing knee problems as they grow older. This comes from the amount of work and pressure that’s put on them each day. When your hamstrings are short, tight, and weak, it can cause issues with your legs — forcing your knees to do most of the work. While strengthening your lower body can help, you should stretch out those muscles, as well. Having loose and flexible hamstrings can do wonders for your knees whether you’re doing squats, going for a run, or simply going about your everyday activities.
Stretching Can Clear Your Mind
Stretching can also help with releasing the tension in your body that builds up throughout the day. It can also help with the tension that builds up in your mind. Actively stretching for 10 to 15 minutes per day can give you the opportunity to calm down and clear your mind, providing a much-needed mental break. There are many yoga classes available that can help teach you stretching and flexibility exercises that will help you de-stress.
Whether you’re stretching before or after exercising, to lower your pain, or to clear your mind, employing this practice for even a short amount of time each day can really improve your overall health and keep you from tearing or straining your muscles. It doesn’t take very long to do, and you don’t have to be a master yogi to reap the benefits.