You’ll hear any good coach make a point of mentioning that you should do your stretches before you play sport, either warm up or prevent injury.
They aren’t wrong.
However it’s very easy to let it slide and get stuck into doing the activity that you love, I get it, I’ve done it myself.
Yet not too far away could sit your first injury and that voice of your coach would be echoing through the physio room.
“If only I had spent sometime on preparing or recovering from what I was doing”
Like most sportspeople, I like structure. You give me a training programme to do and I’ll follow it. Yet every training programme is likely to have a goal in mind, whether that be strength, endurance or maybe even rehab. Yet stretching would rarely be on the spreadsheet or piece of paper. So, it would get left and not put as a priority.
Once my injuries became too much, and at a point in my professional career where if missing training or a game could cost me a contract. I needed to stay on the park.
Yoga was something I wanted to get into yet, the spiritual side kept me away. However the stretches were something I wanted to get into. But how.
Once I learn’t a few stretches that were beneficial to me, I knew that I needed to find a way to get them into my life.
So here’s 3 ways in which I was able to do that and how you could too.
1. Add it inbetween sets
Simply add stretches into your current routine. For example during weights, in between sets of work, target a stretch that is for the muscle group you are using. This way you are getting your stretching done all while you work the muscles.
Note: Do also try to stretch a bot after your session to recovery the body systems to a resting state.
2. Add it into your lifestyle
Simple lifestyle changes can help get stretching and movement into your life.
For example, instead of watching TV on the sofa, sit on the floor, even if it’s for 10 minutes. Stretching, moving naturally will get you opening up the body without thinking too much about it.
3. A stretch buddy
Get a team mate or friend who is keen to stretch and knows they need it too. Run through stretches together. Firstly, to have someone to be accountable to, but also for company :).
Try these simple tips to get you stretching, trying yoga based movement without the worry of joining a class or having to spend hours lengthening out muscles.