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People who are constantly engaged in sports know that along with the power load the body needs calm exercises for stretching, which can not be neglected at all. The hitching of the basic workout or self-contained training for stretching – everyone chooses the suitable option for himself. But in any case, all stretch elements must be performed correctly. Therefore today we will get acquainted with such direction of fitness as stretching or cat’s gymnastics. Stretching exercises not only effectively stretch the whole body, but also help lose weight.
What is stretching?
Stretching is a kind of fitness aimed at stretching the muscles of the whole body, developing their elasticity and flexibility. This is necessary, first of all, the muscles themselves. Only stretching exercises will relieve a person from painful sensations in muscles and joints and will make basic training even more effective. If we consider stretching as an independent training, then this is not just a stretch before or after the main workout. This is an autonomous set of exercises aimed at strengthening joints and muscles and maintaining the body and spirit in excellent shape.
Stretching does not require special equipment: only a rug is needed for classes. Therefore, you can stretch both under the supervision of the coach, and independently at home. An additional bonus to training is given by the fact that it does not require physical training and will suit almost anyone.
The complex of stretching exercises can pursue its goals. Prevention and treatment of a number of diseases, restoration of the functions of the musculoskeletal system, recovery from surgery, correction of the figure – these are far from all directions with which stretching effectively interacts.
Why do you need to stretch
Stretching is not a separate sport, despite the fact that it resembles yoga, but an integral component of any activity, whether it is athletics, fitness, tennis or dancing. Especially stretching is necessary for people far from such activity, because with a sedentary lifestyle, the elasticity of muscles, ligaments and joints is lost even more rapidly. With age, we all become less flexible and graceful, the risk of getting injured during sports is increased. And only stretching can keep all the muscles of the body in good shape. Therefore, stretching today is an incredibly popular activity, both in special studios and among home athletes. Regular stretching is simply necessary for those who dance, build the muscles of their body or dream of improving results in their favorite sport.
Stretching brings incredible benefits to the whole body, carries out the prevention of salt deposition, the development of varicose veins, obesity and other major ills of our century.
Plus, stretching can improve blood circulation, the flow of oxygen to the brain due to proper breathing and give a feeling of calm after a busy day.
Contraindications to stretching are oncological diseases, spinal injuries, joint pathologies, the postoperative period, diseases of the cardiovascular system and inflammation, which are accompanied by high temperature. If in doubt, consult a doctor.
Before you practice stretching lessons for beginners, it is worth considering that in stretching you can not chase fast results. It is better to start with the smallest loads, gradually increasing them. The main thing in stretching training is regularity and smoothness. Experienced trainers are advised to stretch daily for half an hour. Classes do not require special equipment, so you can stretch for beginners at home.
Stretching exercises for beginners
The essence of stretching is the alternation of muscle tension and relaxation. Only a preheated body will succumb to the load without pain, so before you stretch, you need to jump, dance, or do some aerobic exercises. It is necessary to stretch all muscle groups, starting from the neck and ending with the feet. 15 minutes is the best time to “warm up”.
On the issue of stretching, the principle “the more often the better” works at 100%. If the goal is to sit on the twine, then you need to get used to the daily stretch. So the muscles will constantly feel the load and gradually succumb to this condition. Do not forget that all the muscles of our body are interconnected, so working on stretching only one leg is not enough. If you want to sit on the twine – pull both the abs, and the oblique muscles of the abdomen, and calves. This is how complex and human flexibility develops. And even though at first glance the system seems complicated, in just a couple of weeks of regular training the first results will be noticeable, and stretching will turn into a habit. It is worth doing in comfortable clothes. And again: after each workout, the muscles will be very grateful for a light massage.
Who will accept stretching
Stretching exercises for stretching the entire body will be useful absolutely for any person, even for beginners. If you dream to sit on a string, have flexible joints or just be healthy – do stretching. Endurance for training is not needed, so an experienced athlete and a person with minimal physical training can do it.
The actual urgency of stretching exercises is acquired during the rehabilitation period. Even a physically developed person after injuries and illnesses is not allowed to exercise. A stretching will help to quickly get in shape. Effective stretching for young mothers after cesarean, wishing to quickly remove the stomach, and for which another type of fitness for at least six months is unacceptable.
There are no age limits for this type of training. Harm from exercises, no, but positive moments mass:
- Examination of all the muscles of the body, even those that are not involved in intensive training. There is a deeper and more concentrated influence on this or that muscle.
- Promoting the movement of blood and lymph throughout the body, due to which saturation of internal organs with oxygen.
- Improvement of metabolic processes in the body.
- Prevention of pain and tension in different parts of the body by removing nervous and muscle blocks.
- Beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.
- Elimination of stagnant phenomena and prevention of such ailments as thrombosis and atherosclerosis.
- Resumption of the natural flexibility of a person, which affects the rejuvenation of the body.
- Favorable effect on the psychoemotional state of a person: sleep becomes stronger, the mood improves, mental tension and irritation disappear.
- Positive effect on the female body, prevention of cellulite.
And stretching – it’s always a beautiful posture, increased self-esteem and at least a decade longer life expectancy.
Stretching During Pregnancy
Ideal stretching during pregnancy. If the future mother feels well, the stretching will allow her to easily maintain herself in shape during the gestation of the baby, it is easier to transfer labor and recover faster after them. There is only one nuance – you can not make slopes in pregnancy. Therefore, all the elements for stretching should be performed from the sitting position, and in no case standing up. Also, the “blessing” of the gynecologist for the training will not interfere.
Does stretching help lose weight?
Stretching for weight loss is also effective. The systematic implementation of a set of exercises promotes fat burning. In addition, stretching exercises for weight loss contribute to:
- strengthening and improving the condition of muscle fibers, which leads to the displacement of a layer of fat around the muscles;
- outflow of lymph as the main means of combating cellulite;
- getting rid of the skin stiffness, even with rapid weight loss.
In addition, stretching improves digestion, which also contributes to the process of losing weight.
Basic rules of stretching
Despite the fact that stretching exercises are practically safe, beginners need to comply with a number of rules that will reduce possible traumatism and increase productivity:
Smoothness of movements
All movements should be smooth and slow. Jerks and sharp physical actions are unacceptable here. Try to stay in each element for at least twenty seconds, but do not delay for more than half a minute.
The slow pace of training depends on the athletic preparedness of a person: the smaller it is, the slower the pace should be.
Like any stretching exercise, you need to start with a warm-up, consisting of the same stretching exercises, but not more than three seconds each.
Correct breathing is the key to the success of any training. If in strength training it is important to monitor the inhalation and exhalation during the performance of the element, here the basis is a calm and measured breathing in the pace of the gym.
Hold your breath in no case it is impossible: when bending we exhale, and when stretching we inhale.
Control of sensations
During the training, pain should not arise. If this happens, it is better to stop, massage the problem area and start to perform the element again. If the pain continues, it is better to stop the activity.
Painful sensations are an indicator of the current maximum of muscle stretching. If they occur, it means that the stretch limit has been reached to date.
Beginners should carefully approach the implementation of any new element. Begin gymnastics with the most simple exercises, lingering in each of them no more than fifteen seconds. Excessive stress of untrained muscles can provoke their damage. An important aspect in stretching is clothing: it should not restrain movement and prevent stretching.
Types of stretching exercises
There are several classifications of stretching. Based on the degree of stress on the muscles are distinguished:
- deep stretching.
In the first case, the muscles are stretched only to their usual length. In the second, the stretch length will increase with each time, as will the delay time in each element.
By the way the exercises are done, the stretching is divided into:
- proprioceptive neuromuscular.
Stretching static exercises are aimed at relaxing the muscles. They are performed smoothly and slowly and suitable for beginners. Dynamic stretching is the alternation of tension and relaxation of muscles. Stretching of the muscles, which are in a passive form, is the work of active stretching. Isometric stretching involves tension, relaxation, stretching and fixation. Here the stretching of the muscles occurs due to the counteraction.
Ballistic stretching is considered the most insecure and will suit only experienced athletes. Its essence is to go beyond stretching by dynamic sharp movements. Such training is shown only under the supervision of the instructor. Proprioceptive neuromuscular stretching is aimed at restoring the joints after surgery and trauma. It is accompanied by peripheral elements and is performed with a therapeutic purpose under the supervision of a doctor.
See also: Tabata for weight loss
The program of stretching exercises for beginners is better to build as follows:
- neck stretching;
- stretching your back;
- exercises for stretching the arms and legs;
- stretching of pectoral muscles;
- stretching press.
Stretching the neck “releases” the muscles of the neck and shoulder area and allows blood to flow into the brain, so it’s better to start training with it. To perform the exercises, you can stand up by placing your feet on the width of your shoulders. You can also sit on your knees or in the lotus position. Stretch the neck can be as follows:
- smooth turns of the head to the right and left;
- circular movements of the head;
- a delay in the head in the slope to the sides and down-up with the pressure of her hand.
Stretching exercises for the back
Stretching back is our everything: flexibility, mobility, beautiful posture, healthy spine. We can distinguish the following elements on the back stretching:
- Stretching the spine. Sit down on the floor, widely spreading his legs. Slowly we begin to stretch our chest to the floor, so as to feel the movement of each vertebra. The goal is not to lie on the floor or get your hands to the toes. The goal is to stretch the muscles of the spine as much as the body’s capabilities allow.
- A cat is a cow. We get up on all fours and begin to alternate the deflections and bends in the back. We try to use the whole spine: from the cervical to the lower back.
- Turns of the back. Sit down on a chair and put your feet together. We rotate the upper part of the body so that the shoulders also turn. There is also a stretching of the whole spine. To keep the balance, you can hold your hands by the chair.
- Turns with the feet. We lay on our backs and raise our knees bent at the knees. Put your hands on the floor, palms down. We begin slow knee turns in different directions. Shoulders should not be torn off from the floor, but their knees from each other.
- Stretching against the wall. We stand back to the wall and tightly press the entire spine to it. Raise your hands up and start pulling them. The body should not be detached from the wall. Another variation of exercise is sit-ups, sliding your hands along the wall.
Complex of exercises for the feet and hands
There are many exercises for stretching the arms and legs. We select five of the elements for each part of the body. Let’s start by hand:
- Stretching of hands. We kneel and in the slope we reach out with arms outstretched the floor. Leave hands ka further. You can practice stretching first one, and then the other hand.
- Stretch your forearms and wrists. We get up on all fours, resting our hands and feet on the floor. The fingers of the hands should “look” at the knees, and the palms are pressed tightly to the floor. We lean back and stretch the front part of the forearms.
- Stretching the biceps. We stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart. We put our hands behind our backs with our hands down. Without bending the body, raise your arms straight up.
- Stretching of triceps. From the sitting or standing position we put a hand over the head, take the other hand by the elbow and pull the working limb to the head.
- Stretch your shoulders. We press a straight right arm to the left shoulder, helping the left arm in the area of the elbow of the right limb. Side change.
- Stretching legs. Sit down with the legs straight together. We begin to slowly bend over, trying to put the body on its feet. The legs are not bent in the knees.
- Cross twine. We get up on our feet and slowly start to breed them. At the limit point, we linger, lay our elbows on the floor and drag the body down.
- Stretching the muscles of the back of the thighs. From the standing position we make a lunge with one foot back. The front leg is bent at the knees and we put it slightly forward, hands are laid on the floor.
- Stretch the inner thighs. We sit on the floor and bend our knees. At the same time, we press the feet together. The palms are placed on the soles of the feet, and we have our elbows on our knees. Leaning the body forward, press elbows on your knees.
- Stretching of the quadriceps. From the standing position we bend the leg in the knee, pressing the heel to the buttock. Knees should be on the same line, and the hips are brought together.
Stretching of pectoral muscles
Stretch the pectoral muscles as follows:
- We stand facing the doorway.
- We take two hands by the edge of the walls at the level of the head.
- We lean forward, stretching the pectoral muscles as much as possible.
- At the limit point, we fix for a few seconds.
- We return to the starting position.
The same can be done, but with an emphasis on one hand. You can also stretch the chest like this: stand up straight, hands back and put your hands on the lower back. We reduce the elbow joints to each other.
Stretching exercises for the press
To stretch the press, you can apply the following elements:
- We lay down on the stomach, resting our palms on the floor. Slowly we begin to bend our back, tearing off the head from the floor first, then the chest and stomach.
- We sit on a chair, we take our fingers behind our heads in the lock. We make the slopes in different directions, while the elbows should not be moved forward. The lateral muscles of the press are stretched.
- We stand up straight, spreading our legs to the width of our shoulders. Put your hands on the back of your thighs. Slowly we bend back, thighs at the same time forward, buttocks tighten. We bend even further, tilting the head back, and sliding our hands down the thighs.
Contra-indications to occupations
Stretching is a relatively safe form of fitness that will suit almost anyone. But a number of contraindications to employment are still available:
- Injuries and pathologies of the spine and joints in the acute stage of the disease.
- Oncological diseases.
- Recovery period after operations.
- Previously transferred fractures.
- A number of diseases of the spine.
- Disturbance of mobility of joints.
- Serious diseases of the cardiovascular system.
- Acute inflammatory processes occurring in the body and accompanied by temperature.
Stretching exercises are one of the most effective ways to improve the mobility of joints, stretching muscles and bringing the body into tone. They are suitable for people of any age and any physical preparation.