Home Stretching 101
A Home Stretching Guide for You, wherever you may be! Stretching 101 Here are a few tips to help you to maximise mobility gains while at home. Coming in for stretch sessions is awesome to jump start mobility and unlock new movement patterns, but like learning anything else repetition and practice takes change to another level. The first rule of home stretching is Do No Harm. We want to be always moving towards our goal of improving mobility and ease of movement. A 0.01% improvement is far better than over stretching to the point of moving backwards. The no pain no gain mentality might work in the gym but it doesn't work well with stretching in our experience. Slow Down. Focus on quality of movement as much as quantity. Visualize your body becoming more open, expansive and mobile. Set an intention for each session. Consider our 5 key pillars of a good stretch: Breath - Allow the breath to initiate each movement. The breath allows us to create space in the body for more movement. It allows us to down regulate the nervous system where we best respond to new movements and stretches. It helps us become more present and to feel so that we can notice things and avoid injury. Alignment - We pretty much all have some kind of postural bias or compensatory movement patterns. This is our default setup when we go to move or stretch. It's important to stretch with good alignment in our bodies. Keep in mind that when we are out of alignment being in alignment can feel like it is off. Length - Create length while stretching. Think about long expansive lines rather than allowing the body to compress. Be as big as you are when stretching. Intensity - Find the sweet spot of intensity. You should be able to breathe freely and chat if needed. If the face grimaces or any one part of the body is gripping this is too far and can cause the stretch reflex to kick in and restrict movement while increasing stress. Less is more and consistency is king. Angles - Our tissues don't run in straight lines so there's no use over stretching any one line of tissue. We are looking to bring the body back to balance and just like with strengthening if we focus on one area too much it can take us out of balance. Feel free to share this email with anyone who could use some tips for stretching.
Lastly, try out this 15min flow for yourself at home! We've got lots of resources on our channel for you to check out. Happy stretching!