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Benefits Of Stretching

The benefits of stretching are a metaphor for life. The concept goes far beyond stretching our bodies. But stretching as we generally know it is the exact process we should take in all aspects of our life.

Let’s look at the typical understanding of stretching and its benefits, the health benefits, and why stretching is so good for you. 

Range of Motion

Many people believe that certain people are “naturally flexible”. The reality is that with a steady regular stretching routine, most everyone can realize a full range of motion that is greatly improved.  Stretching helps to release tight muscles by reducing the resistance on your muscles and joints. Tight Muscles routinely can cause chronic pain, discomfort, and tension, both physically and mentally. 


The goal of stretching is not actually to stretch as far as you can, the real goal is improved flexibility in motion or mobility. Increasing our mobility is directly related to our health. Improving mobility can drastically reduce your chances of injury by making your muscles more pliable, and provides for a faster recovery. For athletes, mobility and the ability to use strength with movement is more important than just strength itself. The combination of a variety of static and dynamic stretching exercises can greatly improve our overall mobility and athleticism. 

Reducing Back Pain

Muscle stiffness and tight body connections due to our sedentary lifestyles create a high probability of back injury due to sudden movements or overexertion. Back pain is commonly found due to increased tension in the hip flexors, pelvis, and tight hamstrings.  Although stretching any parts exclusively has not been shown to directly alleviate pain, when combined with a consistent full body stretching habit, your body will thank you.  Prevention is always the best cure, but if you already have an injury or just aches stretching for back pain is a free and highly effective way to alleviate the pain and prevent further damage. 

Improving your posture

The easiest way to prevent pain and injury is simply to improve your posture, both sitting and standing. Tight muscles and poor posture go hand in hand and contribute directly to each other in a vicious cycle. Stretching regularly provides both body awareness and the ability to self-correct poor posture by enhancing our mind-body connection to always be aware of our shoulders, hips, neck, and lower back.

Blood Flow and Circulation

Increasing blood flow throughout our bodies creates positive effects for our entire cardiovascular system. Increasing circulation helps our bodies and mind function more optimally. Simple stretching creates benefits throughout the entire body even the parts that aren’t directly involved with the stretches. The key here is consistency though, the results do not last even for a few weeks if you slip back into sedentary routines. Evidence for improved systemic and local vascular function after long‐term passive static stretching training of the musculoskeletal system.

Muscle Soreness and Recovery

The opinions and studies on this topic vary.  The overwhelmingly practiced theories by many physical therapists and athletes are that performing a dynamic stretch or stretches before your workout (pre-workout) can reduce muscle stiffness and the likelihood of muscle strain by increasing your blood flow priming your body for activity.  Static stretches following workouts (post-workout) can help deliver blood back to your taxed muscles and tendons, and reset your nervous system. The combination is widely thought to be beneficial to performance, recovery time, and more importantly general health.   

Stress Relief

Stretching is a chance for us to get in touch with our bodies, to be present where we are, doing what we are doing. Our minds and our bodies take cues from each other.  If your mind is stressed, your body reacts and causes muscle tightness.  Conversely, stretching your body on a regular basis and giving yourself the space to be calm and quiet and focused on a simple stretching exercise relaxes the mind and allows for a better alignment of your body and mental state. 


Confidence is a difficult thing to achieve with simple stretches. Sure they are good for you, but no one ever bragged about stretching your hamstrings. Well, maybe during a drunken “can you touch your toes” contest. Be honest, more than a few of us have participated in those. The reality is that for many of us the best way to start our day is with little victories that stack up. Completing a morning stretching routine, or extending your reach a little further in a static stretch using proper stretching techniques is an easy accomplishment that has positive effects on our outlook for the day and of ourselves. 

It is important to mention is that stretching in and of itself, will not get you very far. It’s a tool, a skill, and a habit that when combined with other training, actions and trials will propel us to points we didn’t think were possible.

Like so many things, stretching for stretching sake is worthwhile, but to realize your potential, you have to engage and practice on a regular basis. You have to go a little further, and try new things… always.

The pursuit of your potential, and the confidence that comes from that pursuit, is the stretching that is concerned with.

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Casey & Meghan

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