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If You Don’t Stretch Every Day, Here’s Your Sign To Start
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September 23, 2021

Hey guys!

Let’s talk about STRETCHING!

Ahh just writing about it makes me want to grab my mat. I love stretching so much! But just like a lot of people, I didn’t always feel that way. This part of the workout is the one we skip the most. It’s the one we feel like we can just rush through or cut out altogether if we’re short on time (which umm feels like ALWAYS).

But stretching is just as important, if not MORE important, as the actual workout! It needs to be talked about more!

So here’s your sign that you need to go stretch. AFTER you read this 😉 

What happens when you stretch?

The muscle – This can get super sciency, so I’m going to keep it basic (you can read the physiological details here if you want). When you stretch, some of the muscle fibers elongate. This is easier when your muscles are warm after a workout!

Stretching on a regular basis keeps the muscle from shortening due to tightness and tension. Less tightness means less pulling and tension on the joints. That’s what leads to a better range of motion.

Blood flow – when you stretch, your body sends more blood to the muscle. Things brings more oxygen and nutrients to the area you’re stretching to help with recovery!

Good feelings – stretching activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax. Your body releases endorphins when you stretch too, which make you feel gooood and might even help with period pain!

Why stretching is soooo important

Better mobility

Mobility is how freely and easily your body moves. It means having a good range of motion. Why is this important? Well first of all, just living your daily life! Better mobility makes it easier to walk up and down stairs or bend over to pick something up.

Better posture

Mobility and posture go hand in hand! It’s common to spend A LOT of time sitting, which can actually shorten certain muscles in the hips and back over time. Not only does this mess with your posture, but it causes a lot of pain and discomfort. Stretching can help restore your posture and prevent other problems.

Injury prevention

When tight muscles lead to poor mobility and range of motion, you’re at muchhhh higher risk for injury. Super tight muscles don’t extend as easily during movement and they’re actually weaker!

This means that something as simple as a jump or lunge could easily cause injury. But that can be prevented with stretching!

Better workouts!

Better range of motion = better form. And good form is absolutely necessary to get stronger.

Being able to move freely also makes your workout more enjoyable, right? Because you’re not tiptoeing around areas you know are tight and less mobile. This also makes it much easier to build strength evenly.

It just feeeeeels good!

Let yourself relax into a stretch and just breathe. Trust me.

You’ll feel calmer, happier, and like a weight has lifted. Making a habit of stretching is amazing for stress relief and even better sleep!

When is the best time to stretch?

Stretching on a regular basis whenever you can is great, but here are some specific times when stretching is really beneficial.

Before a workout

Stretching before you workout looks a little different than after. You want to do dynamic stretches, which just means that you’re moving through the stretch instead of holding them for long periods of time. This warms up the muscles and joints that you’re about to work so they’re loose and ready to move! Here are some dynamic stretches you can do before you workout:

  • Hip circles
  • Arm circles
  • Bodyweight lunges
  • Knee-to-chest
  • Spinal twists

 

After a workout

The juicy stretches come AFTER your workout. This is when you want to do static stretches, which means you get into a stretch and hold for about 10 to 30 seconds (longer if you want!).

After you workout, your muscles are nice and warm and pliable. Stretching now will help your muscles recover, increase range of motion and decrease tightness after your workout. Plus, stretching after a short cool down helps your body recover and your heart rate decrease back to normal.

Whenever feels good!

Stretching is honestly amazing any time of day. Any time I’m stressed or I’ve been sitting for a long period of time working, I try to get up and stretch for at least a few minutes. I ALWAYS feel better.

It just kind of wakes me up and picks up my mood and it feels therapeutic for my body. We all need to stretch more, so do it whenever it feels like you need it!

How to start stretching

Just like anything new, start small and start slow! A lot of people struggle with stretching because it feels a little… unproductive? You sit in positions that might not be 100% comfortable and you have to be STILL.

Sometimes it’s even hard for me.

We’re all programmed to be go, go, go, onto the next productive thing 24/7. Doing anything that requires stillness feels…awkward sometimes. So if you’re not used to stretching and you feel impatient or uncomfortable at first, that’s okay! Start with a short stretch and work your way up.

Focus on the right muscles. Ideally, we would all work on total body flexibility but I also know that’s not realistic for many people, especially if stretching is a new habit. So be intentional with the muscles you’re stretching before and after a workout. If you did a lower body workout, focus on the legs. After you work the upper body, stretch your arms and back. After a run, really get into the hips.

Know it will be uncomfortable, but NOT painful. It’s normal to feel a small amount of discomfort when you stretch. But if you ever feel pain, back off!

I have tonnnnnss of stretching videos you can check out to get started too 🙂 A couple of my favorites are this Total Body Stretch and this Deep Stretch for Splits!

Change won’t happen overnight. This is like everything in fitness, right?! Stretching really does feel amazing in the moment, but you won’t see major change with your mobility after just one stretch sesh. You’re not gonna get into the splits after you do that Deep Stretch For Splits video once or twice. You have to stretch consistently, over a long period of time! After a few weeks, you’ll see a huge difference.

Need something to keep you motivated? Try my 30 Day Journey to Splits Challenge 😉

Or, start right here, right now with this video!

7 thoughts on “If You Don’t Stretch Every Day, Here’s Your Sign To Start”

There are 7 comments posted by our users.

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  1. Adriana says:

    I LOVE all your challenges and I follow your Monthly Calendars religiously. Would you ever consider doing a stretching challenge? I’m so bad at being consistent with that and I cheekily skip the Friday stretches and just take a complete break sometimes. I would really love to get motivated to do more stretching.

    Also would you ever consider doing a workout for surfers, like surf HIIT or a surf stretch?I just started surfing and would love to build some muscle memory for the sport or limber up to be able to do it. Just a little thought 🙂

    Thanks so much for all you do!

      1. Adriana says:

        Thank so much!

  2. Sharon C says:

    Dear Cassey, I have a challenge for you! I have Crohn’s disease, which is a GI disease that has a unique dietary restriction. For most people whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables are really healthy to eat; for Crohn’s disease patients like me, those actually make us very sick! I have to eat processed bread, nothing whole grain, no nuts if they’re not in creamy butter form without chunks, no apples unless they’re peeled and cored and turned into applesauce, no broccoli unless it’s cooked into mush, no potatoes unless they’re mashed and completely skin-free, and the only fruit I can really eat normally is bananas. Basically, my diet is a whole lot of starchy carbs and processed stuff by default. I’m really struggling to find healthy snacks and meals that get me the right nutrients! Your banana and peanut butter bites worked for me as a dessert; any other recommendations? I’d love some creative, out-of-the-box suggestions, because the usual healthy stuff just can’t be done for me! Thank you! 🙂

  3. Julie says:

    It could be really if you included a daily stretching program in the monthly calendar, either each day or maybe each month add a guide at the top, like “do this video before and this video after each day’s workout”. I generally just follow it exactly and don’t do anything else because I assume the videos you’re recommending are already giving me everything I should be doing.
    The other thing I’ve started wondering about is are we supposed to do every day in the workout calendar, or is it just there to help us to plan our days? There are no rest days in there, and a lot of people I’ve spoken to seem to think they’re important. I generally don’t work out on Saturdays but I switch up which calendar day I don’t do each week, depending on my mood or what other exercise I’ve gotten.
    Thank you for all the videos you do, I like them a lot and you’re really helping me to get stronger and leaner.

  4. How to know that is the right muscle? There are many times I work out at home and stretch but I feel nothing at all for the first 3-5 days

  5. Anouk says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I love to stretch but I am not good at doing it on my own. So most of the time, I skip it. Would you envisage to do a new series of short video (around 5 to 7 min) based on stretching. Each video of the series could match with the different day of the calendar :stretch for booty, cardio, abs, total body, leg and arm day. I think it would be a great way to motivate everyone.
    I also take this opportunity to thank you for all your workouts and your contents.
    Best,

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