Significance of Stretching & Strength Training For Athletes & Non-Athletes

Staying fit and living a pain-free life is not only crucial for athletes, it’s equally important for non-athletes. So, whether you are a footballer, tennis player, runner, boxer, swimmer, gymnast or a techie, who works in a multinational company, it’s important for you to live a physically active life to keep your muscles and joints healthy.

According to a Harvard Health Letter, “You may think of stretching as something performed only by runners or gymnasts. But we all need to stretch in order to protect our mobility and independence.”

People with strong joints and muscles have a lower risk of musculoskeletal conditions such as lower back and neck aches, shoulder injuries, and hip and knee pain. So, if you also want to enhance your fitness level, embrace a perfect workout routine.

When you create your fitness plan, make sure you incorporate stretching and strength training in it. Both of them are tremendously crucial for improving joint flexibility and muscle strength.

Here’re the benefits of incorporating stretching and strength building in your workout program.

Improved Posture

Although stretching is extremely important for the body, it’s often overlooked by most people. Just because you do not see instant changes in your body, it doesn’t mean stretching is not helpful. Even if you spend at least half an hour each day while stretching, you can experience a world of difference in your health. It not only plays an important role in reducing pain that stems from musculoskeletal conditions but also improves posture.

Poor posture is one of the most common causes of back pain and neck pain. So, if you are really willing to make that much-needed change in your body stick to stretching. However, if you do not see any concrete change in a few weeks or months, don’t get demotivated. Remember, it takes time to get results.

Stretches for Perfect Posture

  • Standing forward fold
    High plank
    Thoracic spine rotation
    Spinal extension
    Low back twist

In addition to that, you can also try chest stretch, cat-cow, and standing forward fold to improve your posture.

They Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Both stretching and strength building exercises are very good for strengthening your core muscles. Strong core muscles are tremendously crucial for endurance athletes. They allow you to perform intense physical activities for a long period of time. Some of the core-strength exercises include bridge, abdominal crunch, single-leg abdominal press variations, quadruped, and side plank.

Here’re the important core muscles

  • Rectus abdominis
    Pelvic floor
    Transversus abdominis
    Internal and external obliques

In layman’s terms, core muscles include abdominal muscles and muscles in your back and pelvis.

They Improve Your Gait & Balance

Stretching and strength training help in improving gait and balance. And if you are a runner or someone who loves hiking and skiing then it becomes even more important for you to work toward improving your gait and balance. Stretching exercises such as standing calf stretch, hamstring stretch, quad stretch, and hip stretch can easily align your joints and strengthen your muscles.

They Are Great For Your Spine Health

A weak spine leads to several musculoskeletal conditions, therefore, it’s important to strengthen it by performing the right types of exercises. Stretches are tremendously beneficial for thoracic spine, which resides in the middle of your back. People, who spend a lot of time while driving and sitting in one place can perform easy to do rotational stretches to keep their thoracic spine healthy.

In the absence of stretching exercises, your thoracic spine becomes tight, which can then lead to conditions like neck and shoulder problems.

In short, if you want to avoid injuries and maintain a good body shape, then stick to regular exercises.

Apart from regular exercise, you can also consult a physical therapist to improve your quality of life, in case you experience frequent episodes of pain.

Advantages of Consulting A Physical Therapist

Whether you have poor posture, or you are suffering from sports injuries, you can seek physical therapy to recover from your condition. What’s really interesting about physical therapy is it focuses on accelerating the natural self-healing system of your body.

Your therapist makes use of advanced techniques like Kinesio taping, cupping therapy, pelvic floor therapy, and massage therapy etc., to reduce your pain and restore function. For example, if you talk particularly about Kinesio Taping, it’s a technique that not only subsides your pain but also increases blood flow and accelerates the natural self-healing mechanism of the body.

According to Athletix Rehab & Recovery, “Depending on the taping technique used, Kinesio tape can perform many different functions. It can improve lymphatic drainage by tractioning the skin, providing pain relief while decreasing swelling and bruising. When applied along a muscle, it can facilitate the muscle’s contraction, thereby improving posture or altering a movement pattern to restore pain-free function.”

The reason, most people are opting for physical therapy these days is that it focuses on addressing the root cause of a problem. So, when you meet your therapist they will identify the actual cause of your problem to offer a permanent solution to you. Once they make a right diagnosis, they will then design a perfect care plan. They design the care plan to suit your individual needs.

And they keep on examining your recovery process until you get back to your routine life. For example, if the exercises included by them in your care plan are not showing any concrete result then they will include other techniques. In addition to that, your physical therapist will also educate you on how to prevent common conditions like neck pain, back pain, and knee aches. For example, they may teach you right sleep positions to prevent back pain.

If in case, they incorporate stretches in your care plan, they will teach you the right way to perform them.

So, if you are not only looking forward to subsiding your pain but want to strengthen your entire body, consult a reliable physical therapist immediately.

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