“Long term, chronic, postural difficulties are often set in the soft tissue in such a way that re-setting the bones [to neutral] simply won’t last. The soft tissue will again pull the bones out of place. Even, balanced tone across the myofascia of the body must exist so that the bones will stay lightly, easily, floating in place.” Thomas Myers
When done properly, stretching can do more than just increase flexibility. It can also enhance physical fitness, enhance mental and physical relaxation, develop body awareness and reduce muscle soreness and tension. Unfortunately, even those who stretch do not always stretch properly and hence do not reap some (or all) of the benefits stretching can give.
<p>One of the best times to stretch is right after a workout. Static stretching of fatigued muscles performed immediately following the exercise(s) that caused the fatigue, helps not only to increase flexibility, but also enhances mobility and will actually help decrease the level of post-exercise soreness. If flexibility training and stretching are not a part of your regular fitness regime, we recommend you discuss your flexibility training needs with your personal trainer – especially if your needs are sports specific!
* It is very important that you perform a general warm-up before you stretch.
* Do not bounce. Take your body slowly to a position where you feel a slight pulling sensation and hold. It should not be painful or feel like you are straining.
* BREATHE. It is quite natural for you to feel like holding your breath. Try and think about relaxing and using your breath to sink into the stretch as you exhale.
* Stretch the tight spots – you get best value out of stretching muscles that are tight and imbalanced. i.e. If one side is tight than the other – stretch the tight side only or twice as much to create balance in your body. Think of your body like an instrument that needs tuning – when it is in key you don’t need to tune it – when it is out of tune – you do.
Click this link for a Ryoga stretch sequence
Click this link for a standing neck shoulder sequence
Click this link for a floor neck chest shoulder sequence
Click this link for three great back stretches
Next step in the 12 week process is The Hallmarks of successful training