Finish each training session with a thorough stretch for ten minutes,
using exercises from the warm-up section
. This helps to dissipate lactic acid and hence to avoid muscle pain.
Never be in a rush during your streching, each move must be slow and relaxed. Never force a strech too hard either as relaxed muscles are easier to strain. These exercises can also be used to build general flexibility.
Build up your degree of flexibility over a period of months with daily regular stretching. Maintaining flexibility with a combination of active and passive stretching will help prevent stiffness as muscles develops. Preventing stiffness in muscles can reduce injury, back pain, improve posture, muscle balance and movement quality. Choose exercises that help to balance out areas of tightness in your body such as yoga, stretching classes, pilates equipment, and even swimming with static stretching. WHY:
Prepares muscles and helps to dissipate lactic acid to avoid muscle soreness after activity. WHEN:
Daily, when muscles are warm immediately after aerobic warm up/down. WHAT:
Lengthen the major muscle groups used during your exercise. Hold each position still for 10-15 seconds, with smooth breathing and being aware of feeling a specific but gentle stretch, without over straining. Pay particular attention to the position of your back and knees, as these areas are vulnerable to injury.