Sometimes stretching can literally ‘hurt so good.’ Why? Personal Trainer Sean Armstead from Phenomenal Fitness says stretching releases fluids stored in the joints. The fluid lubricates the joints, protecting them from friction and injury. Sean also says stretching de-ages the body. When muscles become short and tight they don’t function the same. He says young people don’t get hurt that much because they are like rubber bands. Bottom line, if you want to de-age the body you must restore it to what it was when it was younger, which is more elastic.
As adults we spend most of our day in the same posture but the muscles we’re using need to be well circulated in order to stay healthy. So Sean recommends that if you sit for long periods of time, every 30 minutes you should do some stretching of the muscles that are tight and shortened based on your sitting position. Sean says there are two concepts when it comes to stretching: static stretching and functional stretching. Many are familiar with stretching before or after a workout which is a static stretch like a basic hamstring stretch, but Sean says the stretching we need is functional stretching. For example, when a muscle is tight we need to move the opposite side so there is no pain.
The top five reasons you should stretch are to reduce muscle tension, increase range of motion, increase blood circulation, increase energy levels, and decrease your risk of injury. Sean showed us how to stretch the Thoracic spine and shoulder blades using the wall. When you put both hands against the wall, stick your glutes out so you’re stretching the lattes, butt and hips. You can essentially do three different stretches in the same position.
Your takeaway from today… stretching greatly reduces injuries, it allows you to feel better and move better, and you have the opportunity to enjoy life much better.