How to get the most out of stretching.

How to get the most out of stretching.

Dear All Elite Families,

We hope you’re staying safe and well at home!

We are missing dancing in the studio with you so much but are so proud of your commitment to the online show and/or hard work over the last term!

Today we wanted to write about stretching! Stretching everyday for 5 minutes is the most effective and safest way to increase your flexibility, but its very important to treat your body with respect whilst stretching and not to push it to far! 

Today we are going to run through 5 top tips for the most effective stretching session.

1 – Make sure you are warm!

You should never stretch from cold muscles. The best time to stretch is after a lot of physical activity, so your muscles are warm and stretchy. When we engage in physical activity out muscles become soft and stretchy, like blue tac! But when we are cold they are more strong and rigid, Stretching from cold muscles causes injury such as muscle tears and pulls. So remember to make sure you always warm up before stretching! 

2 –Always Stretch after a dance class/physical activity!

When we are moving around a lot and raising our heart rates our muscles release something called lactic acid that helps to create more energy and oxygen for us whilst we exercise! 

However if not removed from the muscles, lactic acid can have some very damaging effects. It can cause sore muscles, cramps and general discomfort. However, stretching after activity can help the muscles to release lactic acid and to encourage more oxygen in, helping them to return to their resting state. 

3 – Don’t push it too far!

When stretching you should feel tension in your muscles of course. However you shouldn’t be experiencing huge discomfort. When stretching you should complete the move to a light pull of the muscles not a huge painful feeling. Be careful and safe as taking a stretch to far can cause pulled muscles or soreness.  Be sure to work within your own limits and not to overdo it!

4 – Don’t Bounce your stretches!

Bouncing in stretches is called ballistic stretching, and should only be undertaken with a professional! When stretching it is important to keep controlled clean movements through to muscles as so to avoid damage. When your body comes quickly, your muscles will involuntarily tighten and increase risks of pulling or tearing a tendon. Try to stretch between 10-30 seconds to avoid over-stretching. 

5 – Just Breathe

One overwhelming benefits of stretching, is helping the mind and body to relax fully. To do so it is imperative to breathe normally and consistently, not withholding breath at any point. If a stretch makes you feel you need to stop breathing, it is too hard and you should consider relaxing it more. Be sure to inhale and exhale slowly. Any abrupt, fast breathing or lack of breathing can cause tension in your body and increase your risk of injury.

We hope these help you to keep stretching at home! 

Let us know how you get on.

The Elite Dance Team x