Long stretch

We can all ben­e­fit from loos­en­ing up tight and tense mus­cles, writes Siob­han Byrne

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - FITNESS -

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.

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