Why adding a weekly Stretch Session will help you get moving again.
If you feel like the last year of makeshift home offices, lack of gym time, and more Netflix & chill has led to the loss of strength, mobility, and flexibility, you are not alone. Poor posture can develop from spending long sitting sessions, especially from a workstation that’s not set up for proper ergonomics. Muscles can lose range of motion when they are not engaged in movement. What you need today is a stretch session.
In fact, muscles can become chronically tense and contracted due to improper body mechanics, which leads to diminished strength and function. Without movement, your muscles can become tight and even shorten so that when you’re ready to move your body, it’s harder to extend because the muscles have become weak. Stretching can help restore muscle balance by counteracting sustained postures, interrupting repetitive movements.
Get Back On Track!
If you’ve recently recommitted to getting back on track, you might feel discouraged by your lack of range of motion due to muscle shortening, and the same movement you used to do (hiking, biking, running, rowing) might even seem foreign to your body.
If you want to set your body up for long-term success, now may be the time to add a stretch session to your wellness goals. Not only is it a great way to get your body moving again, but it also increases spatial awareness (also called proprioception), which sparks muscle receptors that help improve balance and movement.
When you feel better about how your body moves, you may be more inclined to keep going. In fact, regular stretching improves overall function by ensuring that the body can respond to added activity.
The best time to add a stretch session into your routine is after you’ve completed another exercise activity and your muscles are warm. Even if you’re just getting started again and your activity is taking a short walk around your block, a stretch session at the end can help your body begin to improve muscular function.
Grab a SMART Mat.
Our 6 mm SMART Mat makes any surface ready for your session. There is just enough padding for your knees, bottom, and other areas of your body to feel protected from the hard ground. The non-slip pad is easy to transport anywhere and can even be used to create a workout space outside. Plus, it creates an instant clean area for your workout regardless of where you are.
The other benefit to our SMART Mat is that if you need inspiration for your workout, you can simply follow the 14 stretch or 14 core exercises printed directly on our self-guided product.
If you’re looking for a longer session, try this!
7 Stretch Exercises to Get You Moving Again
Select two or three of your favorite songs. Follow the below sequence of stretches completing each one for about 30 seconds for about a 10-minute stretch session. These stretches are a good mix of upper and lower body mobility work.
STANDING CHEST OPENER
Grasp hands behind your back and ease them down toward your bottom while pulling your shoulders back and down.
STANDING TRICEP STRETCH (RIGHT & LEFT)
Lift one arm up with your elbow facing the ceiling and your hand reaching down your back.
WIDE HINDI SQUAT TO FORWARD FOLD
With feet wider than hips, toes pointed slightly out, lower bottom toward ground keeping your tailbone tucked in. Hands can be in prayer position or anchored to your inner knee. Hold at your bottom threshold, and then tip your body so your head goes toward the ground and bottom goes into the air. Move slowly back and forth between these two moves.
WIDE LEG Posterior Stretch
With legs wide, ease hands toward the floor and hold.
WIDE LEG Posterior Stretch with a Spinal Twist (RIGHT & LEFT)
From the above position, lift one arm toward the ceiling while the other stays close to the floor, aligning from top to bottom. If you have mobility in your neck, gaze toward your upper hand.
Start in child’s pose and then turn your feet out and lift your upper body onto your elbows. Hold this position for the full 30 seconds, or if it’s too intense, hold for 5 seconds and then release to all fours and repeat.
HIP FLEXOR WITH A SIDE “C” REACH (RIGHT & LEFT)
On your knees, put your right leg forward and stretch into the front of your hip on the left leg. Raise your left arm so your hand is above your shoulder. Take the right arm out to the right side, and then bring it up toward the ceiling while at the same time reaching your left arm toward your right side. Repeat.