If there is one thing that can be said about stretching after exercise, it’s that not enough of us actually do it! Fitness experts say it’s the part of a workout that most people tend to skip. Stretching, however, can make a difference in how your muscles respond to exercise and how quickly they recover.
Physiotherapist and NuroKor Norway Distributor, Hilde Hjertholm is a big advocate of stretching and frequently encourages her patients to build stretching into their workouts. We spoke to Hilde about her top stretching tips and she highlights the key areas we should be focusing on to maximise our stretching routine.
Which body parts should we stretch?
"Most of us are spending quite a bit of time on computers and phones, and that makes up prone to poor posture. So to open up your chest and stretch your chest muscles is very important. Doorway stretches are simple, but effective ways to stretch your chest. Place both hands on the door frame and pull your body in line with the door to stretch your chest muscle. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat 3-4 times."
"For people who spend too much time in sitting positions, daily hip flexor stretches are important to help counterbalance the prolonged hip flexion of sitting for hours, allowing the hips to extend fully so we can avoid compression and problems in the lower back."
"Muscle tension in the quadriceps can lead to back and knee pain, overall tightness, and reduced mobility. So a few minutes of quadricep stretching daily would also be worthwhile to do."
"Hamstrings are important muscles to stretch and keep flexible because when the hamstrings are too tight, the muscles can rotate the pelvis backward. The hamstrings are also the key protector of the ACL ligament in the knee. Keeping your hamstrings stretched ensures you can bend the knee, extend the hip and pull the tibia (bone in the lower leg) backwards to protect stabilisation of the knee."
Neck & shoulder
"Neck and shoulder muscles are also important to stretch daily to relieve tension. Even just turning your head to one side and feeling a stretch in the neck and shoulder (then repeating on the other side) can help."
HIlde's top five quick tips for stretching
Stretch at least two to three times a week. This can be done after sport or as a stand-alone element of your weekly exercise routine.
When you stretch, you should hold each stretch for 30 seconds for most areas and up to 60 seconds for sore or problem areas.
Don’t bounce when you are stretching, as this can cause injury.
Bioelectronic devices such as NuroKor’s are a good complement to stretching. They can help relieve sore and stiff muscles as well as reducing inflammation and increasing blood circulation.
Make stretching part of your routine and DON’T SKIP IT! No matter how tempting it is.
A number of our NuroKor athletes and customers use their NuroKor mibody device to help complement their workout routine and for stretching. Check out our videos for tips to incorporate the mibody device into your home workout routines.