Good news: maintaining a consistent mobility and flexibility routine can improve your performance, shorten your recovery time, and prevent injury.
Better news: it only takes about 5-10 minutes per day on a consistent basis to see results!
(Hey…did you notice how we just used the word “consistent” twice? Yes, it really is that important to make stretching a part of your daily life if you want to get the maximum benefits!)
Simple Hacks for Improving Your Stretching Routine
- Every body is different, so before you begin a serious stretching routine, you may want to consult with a personal trainer, physical therapist, or some other health and fitness professional. It’s the best way to ensure that you’re targeting the specific areas that you need to work on.
- The bulk of your stretching and foam rolling should be done at the end of your workout. At a minimum, you should at least do a thorough warm-up first so that your tissues are pliable, your heart rate is slightly elevated, and your circulation is stimulated.
- For static stretches, aim to hold the position at end range (as far as you can go without pain) for at least 90 seconds. You need to hold it this long in order to counteract a physiological phenomenon called “creep,” which is essentially what is happening when a rubber band returns to its normal length after being stretched for only a few seconds.
- While foam rolling, if you find an area that feels very uncomfortable—stay there. This usually means you’re over an area of high tension. Take a few deep breaths and focus on that area until the feeling is less intense or the area feels more relaxed.
You May Also Like: Try this Dynamic Stretching Series to Reset after a Workday on Your Feet
Our Top 5 Stretches & Foam Rolling Techniques to Maximize Your Mobility
There are a gazillion different ways to mobilize. Here are 5 ways we love, each one targeting a common area of movement restriction, muscle shortness, and/or connective tissue tightness:
- For your shoulders: side-lying internal rotation stretch
- For your back: supine twist
- For the front of your hips: psoas smash with foam roller
- For the back of your hips: elevated pigeon stretch
- For your calves: calf smash with foam roller
Can you commit to more mobility in your life? Give one of these stretches a shot and let us know how it goes!