I am always so proud of myself when I finish my work out. As I am patting myself on the back I look at the clock and inevitability think to myself, “can I skip stretching?” I know, I am a PT. I should know better than to even think of such a question. But like you I have at least 20 more things to accomplish before my day is done. I need to beat a path out of the gym and get to it, right? Not so fast. Here are a few reasons to treat yourself to an extra 3-5 minutes for stretching.
- Increasing flexibility and joint range of motion. A flexible joint greatly decreases your risk of injury! By stretching you decrease the resistance in the tissue structures. You therefore are less likely to injure yourself during exercise when you are more likely to be moving through a greater range of motion.
- Improves Posture. Tight hip musculature and/or pectoralis muscles will contribute to poor posture. A good reason to stretch your quadriceps, hamstrings and deep hip muscles after an aerobic work out. A person with good posture looks younger and healthier.
- Reduced Risk of Low Back Pain. Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps and other muscles attaching to the pelvis assist in maintaining the normal curve of the lumbar spine. This helps to keep your back healthy and pain free.
So there you have it. You can decrease your risk of injury, look younger with beautiful posture and decrease risk of back pain. Count me in for stretching.
My next blog will focus on how to stretch your quadriceps muscles. Stay tuned!