Working out seems to be on everybody’s mind these days, which is why it’s critical to not underestimate the importance of stretching beforehand. Stretching has its obvious benefits: performing stretches correctly can increase flexibility and mobility, as well as reduce the potential for injury. Alistair Hopper, from Flex Fitness, shares some tips and tools you can use to get the most of out of your stretch.
First of all, Alistair notes that it’s important to dedicate sufficient time to your stretches. He recommends 30 seconds or more, before dynamic exercise.
The ProStretch is a tool that’s great for stretching out the bottom of your foot into your ankle and into your calf. To use it, place your heel into the apparatus, drop your foot backwards, keep the leg straight, and lean forward at the hips. For a deeper stretch, push in through the foot.
When it comes to reps, keep the FITT principle in mind. FITT stands for: frequency, intensity, time and type. Frequency could be daily, or as often as you like, and intensity should be mild to moderate. You don’t want to be too extreme with your stretching and risk tearing muscles or ligaments. Be sure to breath through your stretches.
Trigger Point is another tool Alistair recommends. It’s a great tool to use to work out pre- and post-workout muscle knots.