We can all benefit from loosening up tight and tense muscles, writes Siobhan Byrne
IN the last two weeks we’ve looked at different ways you can improve your flexibility and therefore your mobility too. We’ve featured exercises including foam rolling, stretching and use of mobility drills which can include some dynamic stretching. You can quickly start to see an improvement in your flexibility even performing a squat before a foam roll or stretching, and then immediately after you should notice quite a difference in your range of motion and flexibility.
It’s definitely worthwhile investing time in some dynamic stretches before working-out, and perhaps some static stretches after — I personally like to save the foam rolling for the evening time when I’m relaxing as this works for my routine. After all, you need to find a routine you can stick to in order to see and feel the benefits of your progress.
In an ideal world, adding in all of these stretching and myofascial techniques would be great, but even just spending a few minutes on dynamic stretches and foam rolling or static and foam rolling will help tight muscles.
Of course even if you don’t work out you may still find stretching and foam rolling beneficial as even just the daily grind of life can take its toll on the body, such as sitting down for long periods and not engaging your core muscles. This can cause tightness in hip flexors and also the lower, middle and upper back, as well as neck and shoulders.
If you have a sedentary job you may find some light stretching can help relieve tension and tightness in the muscles. It’s human nature to stretch — even animals do it — so try to find time in your day to loosen up. You may also experience tired, achy or restless legs if you are on your feet for long periods. I like to add some foam rolling and static stretches in the evening to help with this.
This week, I’ve featured five moves you can include into your stretch routine.