“The Importance of Stretching Before Exercise: A Complete Must-Do…”

For performance and Pain Reduction

Personal Trainer: Battersea  London

Stretching before exercise is absolutely necessary for seniors or beginners, especially those with pain and injuries. You can do your flexibility program at home, in the office, at the park, or even in your car!  There’s really no reason not to stretch!

However, many people do not know the right muscles to stretch and how to stretch correctly. That’s what I will go over in this valuable blog post.

Stretching for seniors:

It’s vital- just as important as being hydrated and drinking enough water. As we age, the body loses flexibility, stability, and strength, which is why many seniors get injured or fall and get a fractured hip. But a regular stretching program can prevent these problems. The correct muscles to stretch is very confusing, even to physios and personal trainers. So, it’s essential that you have an orthopaedic assessment to find out what you need to stretch and what you don’t need to stretch. For seniors, the body should be fully warm before stretching. Stretches may need to be held longer to get the same effect as somebody younger.

Stretching for beginners:

Stretching Before Exercising is An Absolute Must

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  • You must keep your body fully warm. Don’t ever stretch when the body is cold.
    • You must get your body warm for at least 15 minutes until you break a light sweat, after which you can start your specific stretches.
  • Never bounce when doing stretching.
  • Only stretch the muscles specific to your body and work out. For example, many people will stretch the muscles that are long and weak, but this can cause muscle imbalances and pain. It’s thus crucial to use a structured stretching program for your needs, especially when new to exercise or beginning a stretching program.

Stretching for pain and lower back pain:

Stretching the opposite muscle of an injured muscle will help recovery. When it comes to stretching for pain reduction, you can do overlapping fitness, stretching above and below the pain and then the actual pain area. Over time, the injury will heal.

When stretching specifically for lower back pain, you have to be really careful. If you stretch the wrong muscle, this could cause more lower back pain or pain in the neck if you have a herniated disk. What you really need is the corrective exercise stretching program. There can be many different causes of lower back pain: the position you sit at work, how you walk, or even the development of your movements.

Stretching at home:

Stretching Before Exercising is An Absolute Must

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It can be a great idea, but always ensure your body is fully warm first by having a hot bath or shower or doing some light exercise to warm it up. Once you’ve done this, then you can do your stretches.

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Stretching the legs:

*Quads, hamstrings, and glutes*

For the hamstrings, you need to hold your stretches longer because they’re a much thicker, denser muscle. Most people’s hamstrings are chronically tight, which could contribute to lower back and knee pain.

You often see footballers on the pitch stretching, but with a trained eye, you can see that they’re not flexible enough in their quads and hamstrings. Many people only do flexibility work because it’s easy for them, but the people who really need stretching are the ones who are chronically tight (which you can feel a lot of times).

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Stretch with me:

If you look at the animal kingdom, you’ll see animals stretch after climbing. Watching your cat or dog, you’ll see that they just stretch naturally. But humans in today’s society are very lazy. However, when you get into a good stretching regime, your body will flow and move better, with fewer aches and pains. Especially if you’re a senior, you’ll have less of a chance of falling over and hurting yourself when you’re well-stretched.

So, if you would like a personal training program with an orthopaedic assessment and an individualised stretching program, contact Scott today! You can email, call, or live chat!