4 Stretches You Need to Do

This post is not meant to prove one stretching technique right or wrong it will simply show you which stretches you should be doing on a daily basis to improve your athletic performance and quality of life. Doing the stretches mentioned will make a difference in your training, and if you hate stretching or mobilizing make sure you at least add these ones in to your routine! Something, in this case, is better than nothing.

Hip Flexor

The fact of the matter is that most people spend the majority of their time in a seated position. Sitting on the way to work, at work, and at home has become the norm. After doing all that sitting people then try to perform demanding athletic movement patterns like squating and deadlifting when they go to the gym. This is a great way to look cool and an even better way to book a one way ticket to Snap City. Which I think is close to Rack City but I don’t don’t know enough about geography to substantiate that claim.

My childhood in a meme. Sorry Dad.

Back pain can result from tightened hip flexors as well as an inability to properly perform certain exercise patterns correctly. If you are going to do one stretch this would be the one to do. ‘About 60 – 80% of the adult U.S. population has low back pain, and it is the second most common reason people go to the doctor.’  There are of course various reasons for why people suffer from low back pain ranging from being fat to sleeping in an unfavourable position, but perhaps the most common cause is being a big baby.

Piriformis (Lateral Rotator Group)

The lateral rotator group of muscles consists of 6 small muscles. They all help in the external rotation of the femur in the hip joint which is an important function in the stabilization of the hip while walking. Due to the fact that we sit on them quite often the lateral rotator group can become extremely tight, making it very difficult to perform full range squats, lunges and other compound movements that you should be able to preform if you want to be a really cool dude or dudette. Tightness in the lateral rotator group and the piriformis in particular can also lead to sciatica type symptoms. When performed along with the hip flexor stretches this can be an effective way to eliminate lower back pain.

Neck Sequence

With all the time we spend on computers, texting, driving and sitting our necks end up taking on loads that they are not meant to bear. Forward head posture (think of a turtle sticking his head out of a shell or a piece of poo…never mind) is due to muscular imbalances in the upper body and is detrimental when attempting to perform pushing and pulling movements against resistance of any kind

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Everyday stress can also lead to tightness and discomfort in the neck and upper shoulder region which is another reason why you should be stretching your neck on a daily basis. Also if you don’t stretch your neck you’ll look like Biebs. Which according to like every 13 year old girl eva is like totally not a bad thing right?

Chest

Tied in with the musculature of the neck, the pectorals are chronically tight in the majority of the population. This can be exacerbated if you enjoy bench pressing or doing pushups on a regular basis and I mean who doesn’t bench three times as often as they squat? I mean I didn’t get the nickname the ‘Chest from the West’ by squatting. In fact I never got that nickname ever.

A tight chest can lead to the overuse of the anterior deltoids and upper trapezius muscles. This can result in shoulder and neck pain and injuries. Stretch your chest on a daily basis to avoid looking like a gargoyle and to look more like this guy.

Dat chest doe

These four stretches are by no means the only stretches that you should be doing but they will make a difference in your daily life if they are done regularly AND properly. Consistency is key when it comes to mobilizing your body and getting it ready to move in a variety of different scenarios and environments. Make sure that you experiment with different stretches and mobilization techniques to see what works best for you.

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