Flexibility - 1 of the key fitness fundamentals which most ignore _00003

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Go into most gyms and you will probably notice how most gym users spend the
majority of their time either on cardio/resistance training which is great.
You will find that these same people will pay very attention to stretching.The only
people who this does not apply to are those gym users that regularly attend yoga
classes or the people who enjoy yoga in the comfort of their home.Generally though
the overall importance of stretching has been forgotten in today's society.

I often have to smile when I see individuals hold a "stretch" for a few seconds and
believe that should be enough.O.K it is a bit better than doing nothing but not by
much!

Sitting at a desk all day is one of the worst things we can do with our
bodies.Unfortunately, that effects your posture and ends in our muscles become
shorter and harden up over our lifetime

So stretching is not just be something society believes that serious athletes should be
performing, but something we should all be doing regardless of our present activity
level (unless your doctor instructs you not to for some reason).

Flexibility is often defined into 2 groups - static and dynamic.Static is when you
stretch a muscle for a defined period of time,usually 30 seconds or more.This is also
defined as passive streching.The other type,defined as dynamic,is stretching involving
movement of the muscle gradually increasing range, speed or both.

There are a array of benefits to streching which includes:-

- Improves your posture
- Reduces muscle tension
- Blood circulation is increased
- Reduces muscle soreness
- Helps prevent injury during exercise
- Muscle definition is improved

You can do stretching literally anywhere with no equipment,just make sure you have
something on your feet if you are stretching on a shiny floor.Many of you reading this
might say you have very little time for stretching, but you can do it whilst you watch
your favourite tv show.Some people I know use their evenings watching tv in yoga
positions!They get to do a couple things at once and not become behind with their
favourite show.
Before starting to stretch it is suggested to warm-up first.Most stretching classes begin
with moves to get the blood flowing around your body.Warm muscles are
significantly easier to stretch than cold ones.Should you be stretching at home some
simple moves like lunges will help get your muscles warm.

Classes are not necessarily for everyone so I will explain some beginner stretches
below.YouTube has several videos on stretching so I recommend you check that out
as it is a free resource.You should given a bit of time be able to put together your own
routine.If it has been many years since you have done any stretching progress might
be slow,but please persist with doing a regular routine.We are all new to some things
in life and as a consequence might not be a natural at it straight away, but please keep
with it.

For your shoulders and upper back:-

Floor slides - lie on the floor with your knees bent to about 45 degrees and your feet
flat on the floor. Place your arms with a 90 degrees bend in each so they are in line
with your shoulder and flat on the floor. Now move your arms above your head BUT
keeping your arms flat on the floor. This is a good stretch for improving the flexibility
of your shoulder muscles.

Back:-

Lie on your back, bring both knees up and towards chest.Place hands behind knees
and gently pull both legs towards chest, stretching back muscles. Hold this stretch
until you notice the tension in your back muscles starting to ease.


For your legs:-

Sitting on the floor with your legs extended. Pivoting at the waist slowly reach your
hands forwards and grab your legs and feet. It is very important with this one NOT to
round your shoulders.

I hope this article has been a benefit to you and you will make your own stretching
routine.

The site garmin forerunner 205 has more information.
Philip has an interest in technology and fitness

				
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