Stretching helps our flexibility, range of motion, and even prevents injuries. Adding it into your daily routine is just as important as eating well and exercising for your overall health. It relaxes your muscles and increases blood flow and allows more nutrients to get to your cartilage and muscles. It’s important to keep stretching, even when you’re not inside the dojo!
We all know the essential stretching routine from our classic Xen-Do classes (and if you’re having trouble remembering them then check our social channels!) so here are some essential tips to ensure you’re getting the best out of your stretching activity.
Be sure to move around and break a sweat before you dive into stretching. This will help raise your body temperature, which increases blood flow to your muscles making them more flexible.
Exhale for 5 seconds as you sink into each of your stretches. While exhaling, extend yourself more to get the most out of your movement. Regulating your breathing helps your muscles to relax and ease into your stretching position.
Extending your joints and muscles past their normal range of motion will not make you more flexible. In fact, overstretching risks damaging the surrounding tissues of the stretched area, which will cause injury. Aim to extend to the point of just before mild discomfort to ensure you are getting the most out of your stretch, while not injuring yourself.
Mix it Up
Don’t follow the same routine while stretching each time. This will cause certain muscles to be more flexible than others, which can be detrimental for a full body sport like kickboxing.
Turn on some music, challenge yourself and set goals. Make sure not to get bored while stretching, as it is vital for a healthy lifestyle!