If you’ve ever been to an allied health clinic, a good stretch is something you know we should be doing and could benefit from. But our attention toward these areas of fitness often falls by the wayside, because we tend to be so much more focused on hardcore, calorie-burning or strength-building workouts. With so many muscle groups to tackle, many different stretches to target them and varying levels of flexibility to consider, it can be confusing to know what is the most effective for us and how often to do it.
Stretching offers a huge range of advantages to both our physical and mental health. So putting aside a little time each day to unwind can build a strong and flexible body as a whole.
Implementing a schedule with mobility work can be great for:
- Increased flexibility
- Greater range of motion through movement and exercise
- Injury prevention
- Reduction in tightness/stiffness
- Assisting with lowering stress levels
- Improved sleep
It’s important that you prepare for a stretching session with a gentle warm-up of 5 minutes of moderate cardio. Or, you can add your flexibility work to the end of a regular workout as a cool down. Warming up loosens muscle, prepares you for performance, minimises the risk of injury and should always be done ahead of any stretching.
Here’s the 10 minute stretch you should be doing every day.
Hold each movement for 30 seconds:
Lower Back Stretch
Hip Flexor Stretch