5 Tips on how to get the most out of your stretches and reach your flexibility goals!
Stretching, one of the key elements of dance, improves flexibility, reduces muscle soreness, & decreases risk of injury.
However, not everyone pays attention to the importance of the stretches and specially, the warm up, so here are some of my tips on how to get the most out of your stretches and reach your flexibility goals!
1. Warm Up:
It is important that you always warm up before stretching, as muscles are more elastic and less prone to tear when warm. A good rule is to aim for a five-minute dynamic warm-up before you stretch. This includes exercises like lunges, leg swings, plies, jumping jacks or any other exercise that gets your blood pumping and involves some degree of flexibility and range of motion.
2. Stretching Regularly
Stretching consistently is necessary if you want to come flexible. Get into the habit of taking 15-20 minutes, 4-5 times a week to stretch. You will become significantly more flexible with patience and time. Work progressively at your own pace and slowly increase the difficulty of your stretches at a rate you are comfortable with.
3. Set Goals
Determine the area you want to focus on, where you want to be, and set a date you want to achieve it by. I’ve found it helps to have a journal or notebook to log your progress. Once you have that goal in mind, find out what in particular is hindering you from achieving it, then consistently work towards your goal.
4. Breathe & Balance
Breathe normally when stretching and only stretch to the point of mild discomfort. Don’t try to hold your breath or push yourself too aggressively. Always remember to balance your routine, working opposing muscle groups each time you stretch. Example: if you start by stretching the muscles in the back of your thigh, then follow by stretching the muscles at the front.
5. Think Positive
Not everyone is naturally flexible, think positive and be patient! Everyone’s body is different. Don’t compare yourself to others. It takes patience, persistence, and time to open our muscles, don’t be hard on yourself, you can’t do it all today but you can do it. Now the you know the these tips, visit also the article 'Types of Stretching' I am sure you will like! (CLICK HERE)