21 Jul Stretch or Stretcher? – Why Stretching is so Important
Pilates is such a specific regime.
The movements identify and address so many things about the body; weakness, flexibility, strength, mobility. It targets and isolates muscles so effectively that it highlights areas which need addressing.
The body is extremely clever at recruiting other muscles to help if the muscle which is primarily responsible for the task is too weak or tight. Pilates both exposes the problem and provides the remedy.
Pilates is often recommended as a way to strengthen the core which will alleviate lower back pain. However there are muscles which will prevent the core working the way it should if they are too tight. It’s common to discover tightness in the hip flexors, hamstrings and quads which in turn will affect the lower back.
Hardly anyone who I meet devotes any time to stretching, if at all! Stretching is the most underrated activity. I am not talking about “the exercisers” exclusively as DIY, gardening or walking the dog are all form of exercise. And yes, tennis players and golfers it includes you too!
I always give the analogy of the “Comfort” advert from years ago – the woollen jumper goes into the washing machine without adding comfort – when it comes out it has shrunk and the fibres are short and knotted. The jumper is washed for a second time, adding Comfort. This time the jumper has a beautiful shape and the fibres are long and lean.
Think about your muscles in the same way and treat them to a little Comfort – give them a stretch.
Stretching is such an important subject that it is worth spending more time on it:
Bob Anderson’s classic book is well worth it’s cover price, with stretch routines for every occasion.
Our popular series of PodCasts now includes stretch programs to help you put stretch into your daily routine. At 10 – 12 minutes for the routine it makes it easy to fit into a busy schedule.
If you have more time, then our new Stretch & Relax class will stretch you from top to toe and leave you relaxed and ready for a good sleep.
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