Stretching is one those components of fitness that is overlooked for whatever reasons. However, it shouldn’t be as stretching has several benefits including the following:
- to improve flexibility and posture
- to reduce chance of injury
- to increase blood and nutrient supply to muscle and cartilage, which reduces muscle soreness after training
Based on the fact that we are either right or left handed (dominant side), we tend to favor that side of the body when performing daily activities such as eating, brushing your teeth, writing, etc. In doing so, we can create muscle imbalances where some muscles overcompensate for for others leading to muscular weaknesses and underdevelopment in some areas. This is where stretching come into play. Stretching regularly helps lengthen tight, overused muscles and strengthen underused muscles.
When stretching, you should hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat the stretch 3-4 times. You should also feel a bit of discomfort when stretching. However, if you feel pain release until there is no pain. It is important to never stretch cold muscles (should always warm up) and be sure to stretch after activity.
JCF Boot Camp…it’s a way of life!