We have called this step ‘finding flexibility’ however we really want to discuss elongating the muscles. Elongating the muscles is simply stretching the muscles: it is stretching the muscle fibres within the muscle and giving you greater flexibility.
Without this if you suddenly had to run quickly, to chase your dog for instance and you did not have elongated muscles you would more than likely “pull a muscle,” this means that you have stretched your muscle past its reflex point.
The detriment of shortened muscle fibres can cause issues such as tendonitis (inflammation of tendons), sciatica and bursitis but most of all impedes movement. Poor flexibility within the muscles reduces circulation; causing blood to stagnate and causes localised pain.
The benefits of flexibility in the body is greater circulation or blood flow this gives greater strength and endurance because blood carries oxygen to the muscle. The joints being able to move freely through the entire range of motion which puts less on the body’s connective tissue which can result in conditions such as tendonitis and overall improvement of performance. Most importantly elongated muscles look leaner and more toned.
Goal for the week – Start or increase a weekly stretch routine
Yoga and Pilates has been on the rise over the past five years because of this beautiful combination of strength and flexibility work. Incorporating a stretch routine every day or just following your body’s inclination to stretch is going to work on elongating those muscles. Wellwood offers both Pilates Stretch and Yin Yoga to help you on the journey too finding flexibility.