Stretching for me loosens my hamstring muscle because it’s really tight most of the time. I sit down in lectures a lot and do work at home on the sofa or in bed. My hamstrings become tight and don’t hurt me day to day but it means I’m not flexible if I don’t stretch them out, and more susceptible to cramping. Stretching and becoming flexible go hand in hand. I don’t ever over-stretch myself because this can be really painful if you pull a muscle, and I always stretch when my muscles are warm to prevent this. So when I wake up I’ll walk around have breakfast etc and then after my muscles have got a good blood flow, I’ll stretch. I try and hold a pose such as touching my toes (as close as I can without hurting myself) for about 3-5 seconds. And let myself break for 3 or so seconds and pose again. When I do this, I find it easier to reach my toes and even grab my feet with my hands because my hamstrings are looser and more flexible. If I forget to stretch for a few days I find they tighten up again. I hope this helps! Be safe! It’s about little and often, rather than trying to bend over backwards straight away 🙂
As long as it is done properly. It also protects your muscles from injury when done before working out, and releases lactic acid build up in your muscles when done after a workout, this helps make your muscles less sore
The easy answer is yes! The long answer however is, but only to a certain degree. Stretching lengthens your tendons, ligaments, and muscles (your stretchy tissues), which is why you must be careful not to tear these as they do have their limits. Gradual stretching with these will make you more flexible. However, as you reach adulthood your bones and joints "set" into place. If you weren't a ballet dancer, gymnast, ect., then they would have set to your natural joint movement and rotation. These are your biggest hurdles. Work with what your body is willing to give you. It will bend (to a surprising degree you will find 😉 , but it can also break. If you listen to what it's telling you, you'll find more success in finding healthy flexibility.
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