Stretching is such an important and often overlooked part of being healthy and fit. Not only to help keep muscles flexible and functioning the way they were intended, but in efforts to keep our overall musculoskeletal system balanced.
Flexibility and muscular balance:
- Helps create better range of motion for everyday activities including competitive sports and training.
- Reduces pressure and stress into joints (knee, back, shoulder, etc.) which also reduces long-term wear and tear on the body and the risk of developing Osteoarthritis.
- Reduces the risk of injury.
- Improves performance.
- Improves recovery times by improving the movement of blood, oxygen, nutrients and the removal of waste products throughout our body.
- Improves posture, which in turn improves the way you look and feel.
- Helps reduce muscle soreness, aches, and pains.
Here is another great stretch in our Elivate Stretching Series to perform 2 times daily (especially after sitting at work or after workouts) to help improve your posture and your shoulder and neck function.
STANDING OVERHEAD LATISSIMUS/TRICEPS STRETCH
- Take your right hand and gently try to reach over and touch the back of your left shoulder blade (scapula).
- Now take your left hand and grab your bent right elbow and gently pull to the left…stretching your right Lat.
- On a scale of 1-10…the intensity of this stretch should be no more than a 2 or 3 initially. Hold for 5-10 sec…release and repeat 3x.If this bothers your shoulder at all, stop and try rolling your shoulders back and down a few times to get the circulation moving. If you try again and this still bothers your shoulder…please avoid on that side and see your local Chiropractor or Physical Therapist who specializes in sports related shoulder issues (even if the pain isn’t the result of a sport).Also note that one hand may be able to reach farther down your back than the other. Pay attention to this difference and track your progress.
- As a progression, after a few weeks of performing this stretch and to increase the benefits, while continuing to hold the right elbow, gently lean slightly to the left to stretch your right side.
- Repeat on the opposite side
For improved posture and flexibility, please perform this series gently 2x a day.
As always, less intensity is more, when it comes to stretching. So don’t try to force anything. Remember it’s typically taken a number of years to get as tight and imbalanced as we (and our clients) have become, so be patient but persistent when it comes to getting flexible and balanced.