A lot of people tend to skip stretching exercises before their regular workouts. Stretching is often perceived as unimportant because it doesn’t involve a lot of speed or strength. However, it is imperative to stretch before workouts because it prepares the body for intense physical activities.
Stretching offers the following benefits:
- Loosens the muscle fibers to reduce potential soreness
- Reduces back pain
- Improves posture
- Improves range of motion
- It helps to prevent injury
If you don’t take stretching seriously, you could easily pull or injure a muscle during your workouts. With that being said, you still have to know how to stretch correctly. It is possible to injure yourself while stretching if you overstretch or strain your muscles too much at once. Follow the tips below to help avoid these injuries.
Slow and Steady Workouts
The number one rule for stretching is to move slowly and steadily. Don’t overstretch or make quick movements as you stretch. It is easy to tear a muscle or tendon if you stretch poorly. This goes double for seniors who stretch too.
An excellent senior workout routine for stretching should incorporate yoga exercises into it. The four best yoga stretching exercises for seniors include:
- Cat/Cow Pose
- High Altar Side Leans Pose
- Eagle Arms Pose
- Ankle to Knee Pose
These are simpler yoga exercises that should be doable for most people. If you’ve never performed these yoga exercises before, you should join a yoga class at your local gym for further guidance. Sometimes stretching and working out with other people can help motivate you never to give up.
Follow your stretching exercises with at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercises, such as walking or jogging. If you manage to stretch without causing yourself any pain, then you should continue to challenge yourself with more aerobic exercise. You can still keep the intensity low but keep moving your body. That is what’s important.
Strengthen Your Hip Flexors
Hip flexors represent a series of muscles in our quadriceps that support the lower back, femur, hips, and groin. If you want to maintain good posture, you must keep your hip flexors strong through exercise and healthy lifestyle habits. Otherwise, you could develop hip flexor strain.
What is Hip Flexor Strain? A growing number of people live sedentary lifestyles where they sit for too long each day. Constant sitting causes the hip flexors to become weaker because of all the slouching and inactivity. When you eventually go to stand up, your hip flexors don’t have the strength to support the rest of your body. This leads to poor posture and several other painful symptoms.
If you want to reduce the strain that sitting causes on your lower back and hip flexors, you need to sit in a chair designed for better posture. The all33 BackStrong C1 Vegan Leather Chair is a good example. It is a slouch-proof chair that increases oxygen circulation to the muscles to sustain their flexibility and durability.
Resistance bands can help you gain more control over your stretch movements and workouts. At the same time, they can also strengthen your muscles and improve your mobility. It is really like getting a stretch and strength workout simultaneously.
The best part is that you can take these resistance bands wherever you go. They are lightweight latex bands that can easily fit in gym bags and carry bags. It is the only exercise equipment you need if you want to stretch and strengthen your muscles. Aerobic exercises can proceed with these workouts if necessary. Most of which does not require equipment either.
The Pro-Tec Athletics Resistance Bands come with an instruction guide and carry bag. If you are not sure how to use the bands, then follow along with the guide. They will teach you various band stretching exercises to work your hamstrings, arms, quadriceps, ab muscles and glutes.
There is always a risk of injury whenever you exercise. It doesn’t matter if you’re stretching, lifting weights, or jogging laps. Whenever you move or stress your body, there is the potential for an injury to occur. Stretching is no different.
If you want to prevent stretching injuries, you must be aware of your limitations. Don’t keep stretching a particular muscle group if it causes you pain. Stretching is supposed to make your muscles feel loose and free rather than tight and painful. Listen to your body and follow the advice of others who have more experience. If you do that, then you should be able to avoid injury.