Stretching, it’s not just about stretching before or after exercising. It’s much more than that! It is an activity in its own right which is gaining greatly in popularity.
Simply because she has so many benefits both body and mind.
Not convinced yet? Let me explain to you what stretching can do for you and I’m sure you’ll quickly change your mind!
The different benefits of stretching on the body and the mind
Stretching is a particular and specific stretching technique. The principle is simple: tense your muscles by contracting them then release them slowly by controlling the movement.
It is therefore a sports activity gentle, non-traumatic for the muscles, which can be practiced every day and at any time of the day. No need for specific equipment or infrastructure, just you and your body.
If you are interested in the technique, I recommend my article on stretching. I give you lots of advice to take advantage of all the benefits of stretching without getting hurt. I myself have integrated stretching sessions in my routine and I’m very happy with the results I’ve seen on my body.
One of the first benefits we think of when we talk about stretching is obviously flexibility. Stretching helpsrelax your muscles and tendons to make them less rigid.
This is super important when you want to keep a healthy body and joints at the top. The goal is not to do the splits, but who knows, maybe you’ll take a liking to it and it will become your new goal.
Evacuate negative emotions
Stretching works much the same as yoga. It is a gentle and calm sporting activity that allows you to concentrate on yourself and your feelings. Accompanied by soothing music, it’s a great way torelease stress and negative emotions.
In an intense and busy life routine, it’s a little bubble of calm, perfect for recharging one’s batteries.
Improve your performance
It may sound surprising, but it’s true! One of benefits of stretching is to improve your overall performance, whatever your physical activity. Several reasons for this:
Reduces back pain
Back pain is well known to French women and men. Nearly nine out of ten French people say they have already suffered at least once in this area.
It is even one of the first parts of the body that suffers when you are tense or stressed.
In short, it is the central element and one of those who suffer the most. The goal of stretching will be to relieve the muscles responsible for this back pain.
To help you see more clearly, I have created a complete guide on the back stretches. It includes 5 basic movements to relieve and relax the back, but also full of advice to reduce pain in this area.
Improves overall posture
With a lifestyle that is becoming more and more sedentary for many French people, the muscles tend to get used to the bad postures that can be imposed on them. Curved back, shoulders forward?
Hard hard to stand up straight. To overcome this, nothing better than a work of the body in full consciousness. Many stretches focus on postural muscles. Regular work can allow you toimprove overall body posture.
Increases body awareness
Thanks to stretching, you learn to to control and master every part of your body. You become aware of each muscle and especially of their limits.
During the sessions, all your attention is focused on sensations, movements and feelings. All these elements allow you to refocus on yourself to get to know yourself from the inside.
Reduces risk of injury
It is a whole. You get to know yourself, you adopt a better posture, your concentration is at the top, your body is much more flexible and relaxed, in short, you are in better conditions to practice physical activity without injuring yourself.
Reduces muscle tension and aches
This is not new, it is often recommended to stretch a few hours after your sports session to limit aches. Be careful not right after!!!
But then, why?
The answer is very simple: when you do cardio or renfo sports: you break your muscle fibers by asking them to rebuild themselves stronger / more enduring / more explosive…
If you strongly stretch your muscles right after: you break them again, but asking them to rebuild themselves more stretchable. It scrambles the messages and the muscles don’t build well in the end.
Stretching after training
Right after training, stretch barely: 20-30 seconds per muscle group, very light. Then the day after or the evening of your training, you can stretch more thoroughly because stretching allows the muscles to recover faster. It circulates the blood and relaxes the first aches.
Be careful, however, not to go too hard after your sessions. The ideal would be to do your stretching the next day so as not to traumatize your muscles and tendons.
With a well-organized routine, the results can be amazing. But don’t expect a miracle cure either. It is only with time and mastery that you will be able to truly feel the effects of stretching on your recovery.
But, one thing is certain, the game is worth the effort, especially if you are a great sportsman and want improve your performance. This is one of the points I address when I share my advice for progressing in running.
Finally, the rule is simple: do not underestimate the power of stretching.
How many stretching sessions per week to enjoy the benefits?
So, that’s all well and good, but how do you integrate stretching sessions in his routine? I assure you it’s not that complicated.
The ideal would be to devote 10 to 15 minutes to a stretching session, at least three times a week. That said, nothing prevents you from going gradually and above all at your own pace.
What is good with stretching is that it is a gentle sporting activity that requires very little equipment. As a result, it can quite easily fit into your already busy daily life.
Personally, I prefer to practice it in the evening to relax my body and prepare it for the night, but of course, that’s up to you. As I do my sport more in the morning or at noon, I have several hours of difference between sport and stretch!
How to start stretching?
I myself started integrating stretching exercises in my routine. It’s not necessarily easy to get started. You have to find the time and the motivation. Often, we neglect stretching because we do not see all the benefits that can be associated with it.
To help and support you in this process, I share with you my routine that I do every morning.
Of course, nothing forces you to do the same! Start at your own pace, without pressure. The goal is really to refocus on yourself, your body and enjoy the present moment.
As I explain in my video, the goal is not to seek pain. The ideal is to really feel the stretch and become aware of their feelings. The most important part to focus on is movement.
To master it well and enjoy all its benefitsthere are a whole bunch of little tricks you can put in place, such as: