Well… can you?!
One of the biggest setbacks in the gym for many of us is flexibility. Flexibility refers to the “absolute range of movement in a joint or series of joints, and length in muscles that cross the joints to induce a bending motion,” as Wikipedia will tell you. But why is it so important?
Stretching not only improves your range of motion for many exercises in the gym, it has a number of extracurricular benefits:
- It assists in correct posture by lengthening the muscles that have been tighten from an excess amount of sitting down in a particular position. Slouching is a common culprit of the muscles that are tightened when sitting down.
- It decreases the likelihood of injury when you are at the main body of your workout. By stretching, you are preparing your muscles for use so that they feel loose and are less prone to the shock of injury when you begin your lifts. There is nothing worse than trying to squat without ever having stretched out your legs, especially with a heavier weight.
- Any amount of stretching or stretching related exercises for about 20 minutes can help to calm the mind down and allow you to organise your thoughts. This is clearly an asset in many walks of life, where stretching is helpful to both the mind and body.
Warming up and stretching out:
The two terms are not to be confused. Warming up refers to the short process of preparing your muscles for an intense amount of exercise (hence being called the warm up). Stretching refers to the improvement of flexibility by increasing the range of motion the muscles can work at without tearing or pulling. A combination of warming up and then stretching will help prevent injury at the gym.
But back to the question… can you do a toe-touch? Well if you can’t, there is no reason why at this time next month, you shouldn’t be able to. All it requires is regular daily practice. Your muscles and future self will thank you for it. Trust us. We know.