Stretching is the most overlooked form of exercise.
After returning to see my physical therapist, she insisted that I stretch more often so I can improve the range-of-motion in my hips. Geez, I thought I was already doing plenty of stretching, or I thought, just enough so I could audition with confidence for Cirque du Soleil. Apparently, I wasn’t ready. How much more should I stretch? Should I shift my attention back to strengthening my glutes more often? Do I change my teaching routine with my clients by initially demonstrating instead of doing the entire routine with them? It’s a delicate balance. Figuring out the right path is like cracking a code.
When my husband and I were on vacation this summer, we didn’t exercise as much as we do at home. Yet, we biked on lush trails, hiked with poles up steep terrain to see the glaciers, and kayaked in waters that looked like glass. We were strong and endured climbing high elevations. We stretched before and after each event.
There was a part of me that thought I might revert to losing muscle tone and endurance, however it never happened. My hips didn’t feel as tight as usual, and I was able to sleep without pain. I understood why. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT PROMOTING LESS EXERCISING! I am saying, you need to know how much your body can tolerate and when it’s time to take it easy.
From a performance standpoint, the greater range-of-motion you have, the more likely you’re able to move easier, minimize the chances of injury and be able to react in real situations, like preventing a fall or the need to step wide or jump over something.
For those who are kinesthetic learners, they learn best by doing rather than by reading or listening to exercise instruction. If you have good kinesthetic awareness or learn to develop it, you can use correct form or risk over-doing an exercise or not working hard enough. If you have an innate ability, great. For those who do not have this instinct, offering good cues and technique can help you get a better sense of where your body is in space.
If you would like to know more about stretching, or would like to work in some stretching exercises into your routine, check out my exercise snack videos on stretching. These are brief exercises that focus on different parts of the body—all easy to do at home!
I am happy to talk about how my team and I can help improve your flexibility, confidence, strength and more. Take action. Please call 818-620-1442 or email. I will respond within 24 hours. You can also follow us on Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn for important fitness updates.