Fitness Tip of the Week: STREEEEEEETCH!!!
By Sean Neff
Flexibility may be the most often ignored aspect of fitness for guys. From a very young age all we wanted to do was jump into the game as fast as possible and it didn’t necessarily matter what game it was. We would take the casual jog around the field because the coach would tell us to. We would give half effort in the stretches as it was the last obstacle to getting to the good stuff. As we age, our muscles lose their elasticity and there is no time like the present to include a stretching regimen in our daily routine.
Utilize the warmth that your morning or evening shower bestows upon your muscles. Afterwards is a great time to do some basics in order to either get you ready for your day or unwind from it. If your back is capable, put both feet together and reach for your toes. If you can’t touch your toes, grab in back of your calves and gently pull your nose forward toward your knees. After this hamstring stretch get the quads loosened. Steady your standing self with a nearby counter or piece of furniture and hold your foot behind you using the hand on the same side of your body… then switch. Hold your stretches for twenty to thirty seconds before switching sides. Next sit on the floor and pull both soles of your feet together for a butterfly stretch. This helps to stretch the groin, hips and back as you gently pull your nose towards your toes. Lastly hold one leg out straight and cross the other leg over. Place your opposite elbow on the outside of the crossed leg’s knee and carefully stretch your back as you look behind you… then switch. This is one of my favorite stretches and is great for those of you who find themselves behind a desk much of your day. Keep it simple… The best stretching regimen that you CAN do is the one that you WILL do. No need to overthink it and/or overdo it. Be consistent and your body will open up.
Breathe through all of your stretches and find some peace through them. Not only are they good for your body they are great for releasing stress as well. Ten minutes of stretching a day will make a world of difference for you!