One of the most common complaints when a new client come to a Pilates class is that “they want to improve their flexibility”.
Despite flexibility being actually defined as “range of motion around a joint” and not the length of the muscles per se, most people will commonly identify flexibility with stretching.
Here are some of the most common stretching mistakes.
- You pulling too much. Stop fighting with yourself. The muscles have a stretch reflex, which means that if it is pulled to much (to the extreme of its own range of movement) it will automatically contract for its own safety.
- You have poor alignment. Are trying to stretch your hamstrings rounding your back and tucking the pelvis? Chances are that you won’t get much results. You have to imagine your muscles like and elastic band and with an insertion and an attachment into our bones via our tendons, so the way we position our body when we stretch is crucial to stretch the right muscle effectively.
- You have muscle imbalances. What often happens is that muscle that we are trying to “stretch” is tight because is trying to compensate for another muscle that is too “weak “. A common example is tight hamstrings trying to compensate for weak gluteals muscles, or superficial muscles trying to compensate for weak deeper stabilizing muscles.
- Relax. If are too tense, your muscle will be tense too. Try to relax when you are stretching, focusing on your breath, and trying to stop any negative thought and worries for a while. Your body will benefit, and your mind too!
To book a consultation with a Pilates teacher contact http://www.pilateswellness.co.uk