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Stretch or Stretcher?

Stretch or Stretcher?

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 to the individual “to strengthen your core” which will alleviate lower back pain. However there are muscles which will prevent the “core” working the way it should because 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!  Remember exercise also includes for example gardening or walking the dog!  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!

Further Reading

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.

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