Xen-Do’s aim is to give you the knowledge and skills to keep your body moving through everyday life and through each kickboxing class you endure. We have broken down the main components of fitness into four categories: cardiovascular endurance, strength, nutrition and flexibility. This article will explain to you the importance of stretching and flexibility for your everyday life…focusing on the fitness aspects (because that’s all that really matters, right?)
Here are a few benefits to stretching that will show you there is much more to fitness than just working out your body:
Stretching makes your muscles more pliable and loose, greatly reducing the risk of injury and allowing your body to kick some serious ass whenever you walk into the dojo. Post-exercise stretching can also aid in workout recovery, decrease muscle soreness, and ensure that your muscles and tendons are in good working order for your next kickboxing session. The more conditioned your muscles are to stretching and exercising, the better they can handle your rigorous kickboxing schedule and the less likely that they will become injured.
INCREASE RANGE OF MOTION:
Have you always wanted to roundhouse kick someone in the head? YOU CAN! Make stretching a priority within your workout routine and before you know it you will be mastering those high kicks and overall range of motion.
Tense and tight muscles can contribute to poor posture. Stretching helps ensure correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position.
A build-up of stress causes your muscles to contract, becoming tense. Kicking and punching a bag (or a Sensei) might be a great way to relieve your stress, but adding in 10-15 minutes of stretching post workout is always a great way to relax your body and refocus your stress.
A favourite Xen-Do quote is:
“Be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about your methods.”
Not only is it essential to stretch and maintain flexible muscles, it is also important to maintain a flexible mind-set throughout your day to keep stress levels down and promote a healthy lifestyle.