Yoga combines stretching and strength. Throughout a routine, you’re amplifying your flexibility, and you’re improving your strength. Today, we’re going to talk about the former: Fortifying your flexibility. Let’s answer the question, what does stretching do for your body?
Flexibility & Your Muscles
Stretching should target your muscle groups. Muscles are built to stretch and can stretch by up to one-and-a-half times their initial length, according to Best Health. As you stretch your muscles, you’re slowly changing their structure. Additional muscle cells can grow, and you may slowly improve your flexibility.
Flexibility & Your Joints
Overstretching or improper stretching can strain and damage your joints. Unlike your muscles, your tendons can only extend by 4 percent. Any excess stretching can cause permanent damage. So when you stretch, be wary of your joints. If you feel pain in your joints from stretching, tone it back and make sure that you’re stretching with proper form.
Stretching & The Mind
As the aforementioned article states, stretching can aid the mind in relaxing. It’s even recommended that you stretch before you go to bed, since it may help you attain restful sleep.
The Proper Stretch
To stretch properly, you’ll want to stretch often, but never overdo your stretches. Be mindful that stretching should target your muscles, not your joints. Hold your stretches at a comfortable spot for about a minute to get the most benefit out of a stretch. And remember, you can use stretching to relax before you catch some Z’s. As always, you can count on Collierville Yoga, your local yoga studio, to get flexible, get fit, and stretch! Check out our schedule here!