A few weeks ago I talked about the importance of flexibility training and gave some examples of foam rolling that can be used. I’ve been much better, though not perfect, at making foam rolling a part of my daily routine and I’m already noticing a difference in my lower back and hip pain.
Rolling on the torture device doesn’t even feel as cruel these days for some parts of my body. Aside from the foam rolling, static stretching is another option for increasing flexibility. This is what most would consider a traditional form of stretching. It consists of holding a stretch for 30 seconds 1-3 times.
For some, mostly those who are terribly inflexible, static stretching can seem scary. Why? Because you see those crazy, contortionist-type people who can basically lay themselves flat on the ground or like those freshly washed ballerinas over there and you think, 'How on earth?!?' Am I suppose to be able to do that, too?!? The good news, is NO! You really don't have to be able to flatten yourself like a pancake, drape yourself over a barre or even have to be able to touch your toes to begin with to start feeling the benefits of static stretching. It is beneficial for athletes, dancers, runners and really just anyone getting out there and being active!
I found some great videos that demo stretches you may find useful. These are especially helpful if you're not quite sure if your form during a stretch is correct. Exercise videos are notorious for rushing the stretches and not giving enough information about how to properly position your body to get the most out of the move.
These are just a few of the static stretches that can be done during a warm up or cool down of a workout. There are many many more out there! What are some of your favorite static stretches?