We all know that mobility and stretching are an important part of maintaining our bodies, everyone tells us so, but many of us are guilty of the old ‘get in, get it done, go home’ workout routine. And who can blame you when time is limited and there are so many good things to watch on Netflix.
Whether you are going to stick with training at home, can’t wait to get back to the gym or you’re committing to one of our Tough Mudder Challenges, our friends at PhD Nutrition have explained three benefits of purposely setting time aside to mobilise your body regularly.
Before or after an intense workout, it is beneficial to take approximately 15 minutes to stretch and mobilise your body to either prepare it, or as a way of cooling down. Stretching allows the body to cool down and helps the heart return back to a normal heart rate. The use of stretching also breaks down the feeling of lactic acid that would have built up in your muscles, this then helps in your recovery. Goodbye agonising DOMS.
Increased Energy Levels
By incorporating a stretching session into your daily routine, your energy levels will increase and you may just feel more inclined to do a training session. Stretching is beneficial after a session because once the body cools down, the brain receives signals to release endorphins – the “feel good” hormones.
Increased Muscle Coordination
Regular stretches support muscle coordination and help your muscles work together in sync. Stretching is likely to help your mobility with movements that you usually struggle with, such as a snatch, or touching your toes from standing, just because it slowly gives you a better range of movement.
A Mobility Routine for the Whole Body:
Struggling to know what a mobility routine should include? Try this example and see how you get on.
Hinge Wall Stretch (2 min)
1. Stand facing a wall
2. Push pelvis backwards and hinge at the hips keeping your back neutral
3. Place hands flat against the wall for stability
Child’s Pose (3 min)
1. Hands and knees on the ground
2. Sink back through your hips to rest them on your heels
3. Extend arms out in front of you
4. Focus on breathing deeply and relaxing into areas of tightness
Butterfly (2 min)
1. Sit upright with soles of feet together
2. Knees pushed outwards and downwards
3. Keep back straight
Overhead Tricep Stretch (2 min each side)
1. Extend one hand to the ceiling, bend at the elbow and bring the palm down towards the centre of back, or as low as possible
2. Opposite hand pulls/pushes the elbow inwards and downwards
Cross Arm Stretch (2 min each side)
1. Bring one outstretched arm up to almost shoulder height
2. Place opposite hand on the elbow of the outstretched arm and gently pull across your body
3. Slow and controlled arm-to-arm transition
Need a little more body maintenance and recovery inspiration? Check out these 5 great active rest day workout ideas to keep you ticking over.