Do you have the habit of stretching your body from time to time?
It doesn’t matter when you do it during the day, but are you aware of the importance of this physical exercise for your body?
How do you do simple stretching exercises at home? What are the best stretching exercises you can do?
Let’s dive in deeper.
What Are The Benefits Of Stretching Exercises?
Stretching is just as important as any other exercise in our workout routine.
Whether we are simply doing it as a warm-up or after a workout, we cannot ignore the benefits it has to our bodies.
These are the few major benefits of doing stretching exercises:
1. Improve posture. Tight muscles such as the lower and upper back, chest, and hips can cause poor posture especially when you are sitting too long during the day. Doing some simple stretching on the pectoral, back, and hamstrings may help to improve good posture.
2. Reduce back pain problems. This is also associated with poor posture when the hamstrings muscles are tight and cause the lower back to start developing pain. Stretching the muscles legs, hamstrings and hips will help to reduce back pain.
3. Prevent the risk of muscle strain or tear. This is the reason why most trainers are doing simple stretching for 10 – 15 minutes before the main workout.
This will help the major muscles to get warm up properly by supplying blood flow and help to reduce the tightness of the muscles. The risk of injury due to muscles strained will be avoided.
4. Decrease muscle soreness. After the main workout, the major muscles may experience some soreness. This is normal and that’s why we need to stretch out our bodies.
Why? The muscles at this time are tightened up after a workout and stretching can help to improve the elasticity, thus reducing soreness and pain.
5. Improve the joint range of motion and flexibility. Stretching regularly helps to reduce the loss of range of motion in the muscles and joints, especially as we are slowly aging.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Doing Stretching Exercises?
If you are overstretching or doing it incorrectly is also bad for your body.
Bear in mind when doing stretches such as the dynamic or passive stretching exercise. It is unsafe to stretch the muscles without a proper warmup when performing these types of stretches.
But, even though the muscles are properly warmed up, never over-stretch as this could cause discomfort and pain to the muscles.
Having chronic conditions or any injury in the past, stretching can cause further harm. Discuss with your physical therapist or doctor to find an appropriate stretching form to avoid injury again.
When doing any stretching exercise, do avoid bouncing as this can strain the muscles.
What Will Happen If We Don’t Or Never Stretch?
Lack of stretching can lead to muscles tightening and pulling muscles.
This could result in possible damage to the muscles area if you don’t include a proper post-workout recovery such as stretching.
When you don’t incorporate stretching into your regular workout routine, the tensed muscles will pull on the joints and are likely prone to possible long-term injury.
What Are The 3 Types Of Stretching For Beginners To Do?
There are three types of stretching which are:
1. Dynamic stretching is considered warmup stretching before beginning physical activity. The stretch is held for around 3 seconds for the muscles’ length to increase without reduction of the muscles’ tension.
2. Static stretching before beginning an exercise may increase the muscles’ strength. This stretch is a more passive or active stretching held in a challenging position for 30 – 60 seconds so that the muscle tension is reduced and its length is increased.
3. Ballistic stretching is quite similar to the dynamic style but in a fast rapid movement with a greater range of motion and flexibility. Still is a warmup exercise through bouncing and utilizing momentum for a more extended stretch.
Which Stretching Method Is Not Recommended?
It may not suitable for everyone because:-
* the muscles and ligament tissues may be easily prone to injuries from the sudden force stretching.
* may tighten the muscles from the reflex mechanism of this stretching.
According to the American College of Sports and Medicine, ballistic stretching such as bouncing is mostly to be careful of as it is forceful movement and can damage the soft tissues around the tendons and ligaments.
What Is Considered One Of The Safest Stretching Techniques?
Static stretching is still the most common type of stretching performed in all fitness exercises as a quick warmup before and after physical activity. Considered the most effective and safest form of stretching among the three stretching techniques to improve flexibility.
Some of the static exercises are upper back stretch, shoulder stretch, hip and thigh stretch, and hamstring stretch.
What Stretching Exercises You Can Do At Home?
Try these few simple stretching exercises at home to relax your muscles, improve flexibility, and reduce lower back pain.
1. Standing stretches: Hamstring stretch, side stretch, calf stretch, and quad stretch.
2. Sitting stretches: Shoulder stretch, upper back stretch (my favorite stretch to do every day), neck stretch.
While you are still lazy on the bed after waking up, you can do a knee-chest stretch or spinal twist stretch. Both are excellent stretching forms after waking up.
What are the best stretches exercises to improve flexibility?
By doing consistently, you can do these few forms of stretches to improve overall flexibility.
1. Shoulder stretch. In a sitting position, this stretching formwork is great for the shoulder and upper back body. Helps to reduce stress and tension.
2. Hamstring stretch. In a standing position, it works great for the hamstrings especially before you are going to start your home exercise such as running on a treadmill or pedaling with an indoor bike.
3. Lunge stretch. After you have done a running activity, this stretching form will enable the quads and glutes (biggest muscle groups) to relax.
4. Side bend stretch will help to improve your hips flexibility. By standing in an upright position, this form also stretches the obliques and the lats.
5. Frog stretch is good for those who are having lower back pain very often due to bad posture. This downward-facing pose improves the hips by putting more pressure on the knees. Your squats and deadlift mobility also improved.
What should I stretch first?
Stretching is an important warmup exercise for any pre and post-main physical activity.
In general, you should stretch:
1. the upper and lower back, before stretching both sides of the body.
2. the arms before stretching the chest.
3. the calves before stretching the hamstrings.
4. the buttocks before stretching the hamstrings.
How Long Should You Stretch In A Day?
If you can do this almost every day, it is even better, otherwise, a few times a week is fine.
Stretching for a shorter time of 5 – 10 minutes every day is better than stretching for a longer time, a few times (around 20 minutes each stretch) a week.
It is effective in improving a person’s flexibility and range of motion. Improving flexibility means lesser stress and tension in the body while increasing the range of motion, the body is going to perform more productively.
And, stretching also helps in preventing and reducing back pain problems.
Does Stretching Help To Burn Fat?
Stretching is more like a pre and post-workout routine and may help to burn those stubborn fats.
You will burn some calories every time doing stretch forms such as knee squeeze stretch, triceps stretch, side lunge stretch, or seated twists stretch.
Stretching helps to maintain a healthy weight by improving blood circulation within the body, decreasing muscle tension, boosting energy levels, and improving quality sleep.
All these are important factors in determining the calorie-burning rate.
What Happen To Your Body When You Stretch After Sleeping?
When you sleep for long night hours, the body muscles tend to be tight and stiff due to the same lying position for a long time.
Once you are awake in the morning, stretching makes the muscles become flexible and improves the joint’s range of motion. This may reduce the chances of developing poor posture, injury, or arthritis.
Each time you wake up in the morning, your heart rate is beating slower. Stretching your body after waking up improves proper blood circulation in the body.
You will also experience more energy, less stress, and tension when you do stretching after waking up in the morning. This helps you to face the day ahead more positively and effectively.
What are the benefits of stretching before bed?
Before you are heading for bedtime, do you know that doing quick stretching helps you to sleep better?
Studies from the US National Institute of Health have shown that sleeping quality will improve for obese women during their post-menopause. Another study conducted by the NIH also reviewed that older adults had improved in their sleeping quality after performing some simple stretching before sleep.
Try these simple stretches before heading to bed. You can just find these exercises on YouTube.
1. Head rolls which are good for the neck and upper back muscles.
2. Spinal twist which is great for the shoulders, the back, chest, and the abs.
3. Bear hug is a great stretch for the upper back.
My Final Thoughts: How To Do Simple Stretching Exercises At Home
Doing simple stretches at home either before sleep, waking up the next morning, or pre and post-workout do have incredible health value to your body.
Stretching helps a lot to improve muscle flexibility, increase the range of motion of the joints, boost blood flow and circulation, enhancing a person’s mood by reducing stress and tension.
Besides, it is a great way in improving the alignment and balance of the body.
If you have overlooked this powerful stretching can do good to your body, try it today or get a consultation from your personal trainer before getting into it.
Leave me a comment below if you have and I will speed back within 24 hours.
Have another safe home workout!
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