Rules for Safe Stretching - 4 Key Rules
Simple stretching rules
Stretching your muscles helps make them more elastic and resilient, reduce the likelihood of injury during strength training and tighten your figure. That is why stretching the legs, back and shoulder girdle is recommended every time after training in the gym.
In addition, even the simplest static stretching exercises help strengthen your ligaments and joints. Regularly practicing at home, you will receive as a reward a beautiful straight back, hardy muscles and the ability to sit on a split without much effort!
Universal stretching exercises
Static exercises are considered the simplest and most universal: if you wish, you can do them at least every day (of course, taking into account the general physical condition - so as not to overdo it, especially at first). Starting to accustom the body to a new type of load for it, it is necessary to avoid pronounced pain sensations.
A sample set of exercises for beginners might include:
- a five-minute warm-up (running in place, jumping out of a squatting position 15-20 times, vigorous kicks forward, backward and to the side);
- rolls from foot to foot 20-30 times (we spread our legs to the sides as wide as possible and transfer the weight from one foot to the other, while maintaining the most stable body position);
- bends forward 20 times (closing the heels, bend over from a standing position and try to reach with our hands as low as possible);
- tilts from a sitting position 20 times (we sit on the floor, legs wide apart, and stretch our hands to our toes);
- butterfly (sit on the floor, close your feet and gently press your hands on your knees, as if stretching the inner side of the thigh);
- kitty (we stand on all fours, resting on the floor with palms and knees, bend our back down as much as possible, and then smoothly bend it as high as possible);
- cobra (leaning our knees on the floor, pull the body forward, trying to reach with our hands as far as possible, and then pull the body to the arms, straightening them and at the same time straightening the legs);
- slow tilting of the body to the sides from a standing position (in each tilt you need to linger for 15-30 seconds);
- bridge from a standing position (not everyone succeeds the first time, but after several attempts your the bridge will be much tidier);
- landing on a split (to sit on a transverse or longitudinal split and not injure yourself, do not press on your legs - the movements should be smooth, after a couple of sessions you will notice progress).
Remember: bridge and splits are best done at the end of the workout, when the muscles and ligaments are well warmed up.
Mild discomfort is a normal sensation for the first sessions, but pain should not be ignored.
For example, if you are trying to sit on the split and feel a strong but not too painful muscle tension, you should wait 5 seconds and then lower your body a little lower until discomfort occurs.
Then we wait a few seconds again: if the pain disappears, we go down, if not, we rest and postpone the exercise to the next lesson.
How to do stretching correctly?
You've learned how to do a simple stretch at home. To get the maximum benefit even from the initial set of exercises, do not forget about the breathing mode: while exhaling, you need to strain the muscles, forcing them to work, while inhaling, on the contrary, relax.
Do not puff when stretching, breathing should be as even and calm as possible, and most importantly - even. Observing the rules of breathing, you will soon notice that exercises are easier for you, and the discomfort from an unusual load goes away faster.
All exercises are performed smoothly, without sudden movements and jerks. This is the only way to prevent muscle sprains and other injuries. By the way, some coaches say that it is best to train in the morning: half an hour of training in the morning is comparable in effectiveness with an hour and a half of training in the evening. Don't ignore the seated exercises ( butterfly, lotus position ) - they are very beneficial for the ligaments and joints of the lower limbs.
How to stretch to get into the split as soon as possible?
This question often worries beginners, but it is even approximately impossible to answer it: each person has individual responsiveness of muscles and ligaments to such exercises. But you can accurately determine the factors that affect the result - first of all, age, initial flexibility and general fitness of a person, as well as the peculiarities of performing a set of exercises (duration and intensity of the introductory warm-up, frequency and nature of training).
What if my muscles hurt after stretching?
“No pain - no gain” (English No pain - no result ). The truth of this universal formula is difficult to refute, but pain during and after training should be moderate and by no means acute. It's normal if the next day after doing a new exercise for you, your muscles ache and you feel some tension in your joints.
But if the pain has become sharp and severely restricts you in movement, you should make sure that there are no injuries and then train in a more careful and gentle mode. By the way, slight pain and heaviness in the muscles that occur the next day after exercise can be easily removed by active warm-up without power load - squats, jogging, repetition of individual exercises from the standard stretching complex.
Workout during your period
Critical days are a period of a noticeable decrease in the defenses and physical resources of the female body. Doctors often prohibit intense sports activities during this time and advise you to wait until your period is over so as not to harm your health.
It is believed that strong pressure on the abdominal cavity leads to improper detachment of the endometrium, which, in turn, can provoke the development of endometriosis and other gynecological diseases.
But this does not mean that you should give up any stress: in order to cause real harm to health, you need to try hard. On the other hand, moderate exercise during menstruation, on the other hand, helps to reduce the manifestations of PMS and make menstruation much less painful.
So stretch your health, but try to do it as carefully as possible, without waiting for the onset of pain.
Take a break for the first couple of days (as a rule, they are accompanied by poor health), and then return to training.
Is it okay to do stretching exercises if you don't feel well during your period? Yes, but only after consulting a doctor.
Direct contraindications to training are:
- dizziness and severe weakness;
- heavy bleeding;
- spasms worse with every movement;
- menstrual irregularities;
- sharp abdominal pain that occurs during exertion.
As you can see, there are not so many direct contraindications to stretching exercises. It depends on your mood and well-being whether you can do stretching every day, but in the absence of a medical prohibition, nothing prevents you from exercising even during your period.
Stretching is the best way to maintain high muscle tone while avoiding excessive stress on the body.