People who are constantly involved in sports, know that, along with the power load, the body also needs quiet stretching exercises, which can not be neglected. Hitch basic training or stand-alone stretching training – everyone chooses for themselves the appropriate option. But in any case, all the elements of stretching should be performed correctly. Therefore, today we will get acquainted with such a direction of fitness as stretching or cat gymnastics. Stretching exercises not only effectively stretch the whole body, but also help to lose weight.
What is stretching?
Stretching is called a type of fitness, aimed at stretching the muscles of the whole body, the development of their elasticity and flexibility. This is necessary, first of all, by the muscles themselves. Only stretching exercises will relieve a person from painful sensations in muscles and joints and make basic training even more effective. If we consider stretching as an independent training, it is not just a stretching before or after the main workout. This is an autonomous set of exercises aimed at strengthening joints and muscles and maintaining body and spirit in excellent shape.
Stretching does not require special equipment: for classes you will need only a mat. Therefore, you can stretch as under the supervision of a coach, and independently at home. An additional bonus to the training is the fact that it does not require physical training and will suit almost any person.
A set of exercises for stretching can pursue their goals. Prevention and treatment of a number of diseases, restoration of the functions of the musculoskeletal system, recovery after operations, correction of the figure – these are not all directions with which stretching effectively interacts.
Who is suitable for stretching
Stretching exercises for stretching the whole body will be useful to absolutely anyone, even for beginner athletes. If you want to sit on a splits, have flexible joints, or just be healthy – do stretching. Endurance is not needed for training, so both an experienced athlete and a person with minimal physical training can do it.
Strength exercises are particularly relevant during the rehabilitation period. Even a physically developed person after injuries and illnesses is physically contraindicated. A stretch will help to quickly get in shape. Stretching is also effective for young mummies after cesarean, who want to quickly remove the stomach, and for whom another type of fitness is at least half a year unacceptable.
There is no age limit for this type of training. There is no harm from exercise, but a lot of positive moments:
- Work out all the muscles of the body, even those that are not involved with intensive training. Here is a deeper and more concentrated effect on a particular muscle.
- Promoting the movement of blood and lymph throughout the body, due to which there is a saturation of the internal organs with oxygen.
- Improvement of metabolic processes in the body.
- Prevention of pain and tension in different parts of the body due to the removal of nerve and muscle blocks.
- Beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system.
- Elimination of stagnation and prevention of such diseases as thrombosis and atherosclerosis.
- Renewal of the natural flexibility of a person, which affects the rejuvenation of the body.
- The beneficial effect on the psycho-emotional state of a person: sleep becomes stronger, the mood improves, mental stress and irritation disappears.
- Positive effects on the female body, prevention of cellulite.
And stretching is always a beautiful posture, increased self-esteem and at least ten years longer life expectancy.
Stretching during pregnancy
Stretching is ideal during pregnancy. If the future mother feels good, the stretch will allow her to keep herself in good shape while carrying the baby, it is easier to bear childbirth and will recover after them faster. There is only one caveat – you can not perform the slopes during pregnancy. Therefore, all the elements of stretching must be performed from a sitting position, and in no case standing. Also, the gynecologist’s “blessing” to the training does not hurt.
Does Stretching Lose Weight?
Stretching for weight loss is also effective. The systematic implementation of a set of exercises helps burn fat. In addition, stretching exercises for weight loss contribute to:
- strengthening and improving the state of muscle fibers, which leads to the displacement of a layer of fat around the muscles;
- lymphatic drainage as the main means of combating cellulite;
- getting rid of skin sagging, even with rapid weight loss.
In addition, stretching improves digestion, which also contributes to the process of losing weight.
Basic rules for stretching
Despite the fact that stretching exercises are practically safe, beginners need to follow a number of rules that will reduce the possible trauma and increase productivity:
All movements should be smooth and slow. Jerks and harsh physical actions are unacceptable here. Try to linger in each element for at least twenty seconds, but you shouldn’t delay for more than half a minute.
The slowness of the pace of training depends on the athletic fitness of a person: the smaller it is, the slower the pace should be.
Like any training session, stretching should begin with a warm-up, which consists in the same stretching exercises, but not more than three seconds each.
Proper breathing is the key to success for any training. If in strength training it is important to follow the inhale and exhale during the performance of the element, then the basis here is calm and measured breathing at the pace of gymnastics.
In no case can you hold your breath: when we bend, we exhale, and when we stretch, we inhale.
In the process of training should not occur pain. If this happens, it is better to stop, massage the problem area and re-start the implementation of the element. If the pain continues, it is better to stop exercising.
Pain sensations are an indicator of the current muscle stretch maximum. If they occur, then today reached the limit of stretch.
Beginners should be careful about any new item. Begin gymnastics with the simplest exercises, lingering in each of them for no more than fifteen seconds. Excessive loading of untrained muscles can cause their damage. The important point in stretching is clothing: it should not hinder movement and prevent stretching.
Types of stretching exercises
There are several classifications of stretching. Based on the degree of load on the muscles are distinguished:
In the first case, the muscles stretch only to their usual length. In the second – the length of the stretch will increase each time, as well as the delay time in each element.
According to the method of exercise stretching is divided into:
- proprioceptive neuromuscular.
Stretching static exercises aimed at relaxing muscles. They are performed smoothly and slowly and are suitable for beginners. Dynamic stretching is the alternation of tension and muscle relaxation. Stretching muscles that are in a passive form – the work of active stretching. Isometric stretching involves tension, relaxation, stretching, and fixation. Here the stretching of the muscles occurs due to counteraction.
Ballistic stretching is considered the most unsafe and is suitable only for experienced athletes. Its essence is going beyond the stretch by dynamic sharp movements. Such training is shown only under the control of the instructor. Proprioceptive neuromuscular stretching is aimed at restoring joints after surgery and injuries. It is accompanied by peripheral elements and is carried out with a medical purpose under the supervision of a physician.
It is better to build a stretching exercise program for beginners as follows:
- neck stretching;
- back stretching;
- stretching arms and legs;
- stretching the pectoral muscles;
- stretching press.
Stretching the neck “releases” the muscles of the neck and shoulder areas and allows blood to flow to the brain, so it is better to start training with it. To perform the exercises, you can stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. You can also sit on your knees or in the lotus position. Stretch the neck as follows:
- smooth turns of the head to the left and right;
- circular movements of the head;
- delaying the head in tilting to the sides and up and down with pressing her hand.
Stretching exercises for the back
Stretching the back is our all: flexibility, mobility, beautiful posture, healthy spine. The following elements can be distinguished for stretching the back:
- Stretching of the spine. We sit on the floor, spreading his legs wide. Slowly we begin to stretch our breasts to the floor, so as to feel the movement of each vertebra. The goal is not to lie on the floor or to reach the toes with your hands. The goal is to stretch the spinal muscles as much as the body’s capabilities allow.
- The cat is a cow. We stand on all fours and begin to alternate between the bends and the bends in the back. We try to use the entire spine: from the cervical to the lower back.
- Turns back. We sit down on a chair and put the legs together. Turning the upper body so that the shoulders are also turned. It also stretches the entire spine. To maintain balance, you can hold the chair with your hands.
- Turns feet. We lie down on our back and lift our knees bent up. Hands laid on the floor, palms down. We start the slow turns of the knees in different directions. At the same time, the shoulders should not come off the floor, but the knees should not be apart.
- Stretching against the wall. We stand back to the wall and tightly press to it the whole spine. Raise your hands up and begin to pull them. The body should not detach from the wall. Another variation of the exercise is squats, sliding your hands along the wall.
A set of exercises for the legs and arms
There are many exercises for stretching arms and legs. We select the top five items for each body part. Let’s start with the hands:
- Stretching hands. We get on our knees and in the slope we reach the floor with outstretched arms. We move hands as far as possible. You can practice stretching first one and then the other hand.
- Stretch the forearm and wrist. We get up on all fours, resting his arms and legs on the floor. In this case, the fingers should “look” on the knees, and the palms should be tightly pressed to the floor. Lean back and stretch the front of the forearm.
- Stretching biceps. We stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart. We put our hands behind our backs, palms down. Without bending the body, we raise straight arms up.
- Stretching triceps. From a sitting or standing position, we hold our hand behind the head, take the other hand on the elbow and pull the working limb to the head.
- Stretch your shoulders. We press the straight right hand to the left shoulder, helping with the left hand in the area of the elbow of the right limb. Side change.
- Stretching the legs. Sit down with straight legs together. We begin to slowly bend, trying to lay the body on his feet. Feet at the knees while not bending.
- Cross twine. We get up on our feet and begin to slowly spread them apart. At the limiting point we linger, lay our elbows on the floor and stretch the body down.
- Stretching the muscles of the back of the thighs. From a standing position, lunge with one foot back. Bend the front leg at the knees and retract a little forward, hands laid on the floor.
- Stretch the inner thighs. We sit on the floor and bend the legs at the knees. Feet while pressing together. The palms are placed on the feet, and the elbows are placed on the knees. Leaning the body forward, we crush the elbows on our knees.
- Stretching the quadriceps. From a standing position, bend the leg at the knee, pressing the heel to the buttock. The knees should be on the same line, and the hips are reduced.
Stretching the pectoral muscles
Stretching the pectoral muscles as follows:
- We stand facing the doorway.
- We take two hands for the edges of the walls at head level.
- Lean forward, stretching the pectoral muscles as much as possible.
- At the limit point, we fix for a few seconds.
- Return to the starting position.
The same can be done, but with an emphasis on one hand. You can still stretch your chest like this: stand up straight, arms back and put your palms on your lower back. We reduce the elbow joints to each other.
Stretching exercises for the press
The following elements can be used for stretching a press:
- We lay down on the stomach, resting his palms on the floor. Slowly we begin to flex the back, first tearing off the head, then the chest and abdomen from the floor.
- We sit down on a chair, bring our fingers behind the head to the castle. We make bends in different directions, while the elbows should not be pulled forward. Stretched lateral muscles of the press.
- We stand straight, spreading his legs shoulder-width apart. Hands laid on the back of the thighs. Slowly bend back, while directing the hips forward, and we strain the buttocks. Bend even further, tilting your head while back, and sliding your hands down the hips.
Contraindications to classes
Stretching is a relatively safe form of fitness that will suit almost anyone. But a number of contraindications to classes are still available:
- Injuries and pathologies of the spine and joints in the acute stage of the disease.
- Oncological diseases.
- Recovery period after operations.
- Previously transferred fractures.
- A number of diseases of the spine.
- Violation of joint mobility.
- Serious diseases of the cardiovascular system.
- Acute inflammatory processes occurring in the body and accompanied by temperature.
Stretching – exercises are one of the most effective ways to improve joint mobility, stretching muscles and toning the body. They will suit people of any age and any physical fitness.