We stretch because it helps us feel better. While we may not do it often enough, we all know the feeling of a good stretch in the morning when we get up before we start moving. We reach, twist, take a good breath and maybe a yawn. We know how good it feels to lean or bend or pull against something when our low back feels tight or a shoulder is stiff and the relief we experience.
We stretch to move better. The right kind of stretching helps us gently and easily open space in our joints and in the connective tissue or fascia that gives our body structure and absorbs and transmits the force we need to move. When that tissue is tight or restricted we lose our range of motion and that elastic bouncey feel that allows us to move freely and easily. When it’s stretched well we feel light and loose.
We stretch to perform better, wether it’s in training or competition for an athlete, or in the simplest activities of daily iife. Flexibility is about being able to adapt to the changing demands of our environment. Again, that means changing direction on a soccer field but it also means carrying a bag of groceries while you try to pick up a toddler. The right kind of stretching helps us respond to those moments when we have to move in unexpected ways and, also gives us the ability to move with more grace and power as we go through the day.
If you are already making time to stretch good for you. Here is a great resource to help you make sure you’re getting the full benefits of a good routine. Stretch To Win by Ann Frederick and Chris Frederick, they have been pioneers in the field for over 25 years.
If you don’t have a stretching practice let’s get together and help you start one. A good stretching practice is simple, pain-free and personalized. Reach out here and we’ll get started.