Why should I stretch?
Stretching is an important yet commonly overlooked form of exercise. Even through you may have heard someone say hear this before you might still be asking:
Why should I stretch?
- You are actively decreasing the risk of injury
- It relieves pain and discomfort
- You will improve your flexibility
- You’ll improve blood flow and circulation
- It reduces stress
Below are some stretches that are great for staying mobile for sport performance and general health.
Lower back pain is one of the most common areas of the body where individuals feel pain and discomfort. This stretch is great for anyone experiencing lower back tightness or discomfort. To perform this stretch begin in a four point position with your knees and hands placed on the floor. Firstly, slowly lower your head while raising your lower back up towards the ceiling. Hold for one second then move into the opposite position, raising your head upwards and depressing your lower back so that there is a downward arch of your back. Repeat this motion for a number of times aiming to get the full range of motion with each repetition.
Seated Hamstring Stretch
Hamstrings are a common place of injury for many individuals, particularly athletes. This is why it is important to maintain flexibility of the hamstring muscle. To perform this stretch sit on the floor with one leg out straight and the other leg resting bent in front of your body opposite your inner thigh. Whilst maintaining this position sit up straight and lean your body forward until you feel a stretch underneath your hamstring. Once felt hold this position for 15 seconds.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
This is an important exercise which stretches the hip flexor muscles. To perform this start with your front foot firm on the ground and your back leg resting in the kneeling position. Then lean forward until you feel a stretch on your front leg. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
This is another stretch which aims to improve flexibility and reduce tension of the lower back. To perform this stretch; start with kneeling on the floor. Following this fold your body so that your arms are resting in front of you and that your torso is tucked on top of your thighs. Hold this position for 15 – 20 seconds, inhaling and exhaling while stretching.
Although this is not strictly an stretch per se, it is important mobility exercise which improves flexibility and mobility of the shoulder joint. To perform this exercise, start with your arms by your side. Then swing your arms as high as you can in a circular motion and then down back beside your body. Perform this exercise for 10 – 15 repetitions.
If the exercises above don’t cover your injury of concern or you would like to learn more about what a talented everyday Accredited Exercise Physiologist provider can do to help, get in touch. Feel free to call the Pivotal Motion Physiotherapy team on 07 3352 5116 or book online for a hand today!