Do you ever feel tight after a workout? That’s because when you exercise, your muscles produce waste products that cause inflammation. To push these out and feel light and limber once again, stretching and foam rolling are crucial!

But wait— There’s more! Before you forget to stretch and foam roll today, let’s discuss what these practices are all about and show you how to perform them properly:

What Is Stretching All About? 

A form of physical activity that involves lengthening and elongating the muscles, stretching helps to improve range of motion, flexibility, and posture. 

Stretching is important for many reasons—for athletes and non-athletes alike!

  • Prevent Injuries

When you stretch regularly, you’re lengthening your muscles and improving your range of motion. This means that your muscles are less likely to be strained or pulled when you’re participating in physical activity. 

  • Improve Posture and Alignment

If you have tight muscles, they can pull your body out of alignment and cause pain. By stretching regularly, you can help to avoid this. 

  • Increase Flexibility and Range of Motion

This is especially important as you age since your muscles tend to shorten and tighten. If you want to be able to move freely and without pain, then stretching is a must!

How To Stretch Properly

To get the most out of your stretches and avoid injury, keep these things in mind: 

Be Sure to Warm Up Before Stretching

This can be done by participating in some light physical activity or by taking a hot shower. 

Never Stretch to the Point of Pain

Stretching should be gentle and comfortable. If you feel any pain, stop immediately. 

Breathe Deeply As You Stretch

This will help to oxygenate your muscles and improve your overall circulation. 

Hold Each Stretch For At Least 20-30 Seconds

This will give your muscles time to lengthen and relax.

How Does Foam Rolling Work? 

Foam rolling works by applying pressure to muscles to break up knots and trigger points and increase blood flow. Like stretching, foam rolling is a great way to warm up and has many benefits! These include:

  • Reducing pain
  • Preventing injuries
  • Releasing muscle tension
  • Improving range of motion

How To Foam Roll the Right Way

To forgo any pitfalls and get the most out of foam rolling, perform each motion with the following tips in mind:

Start With a Soft Roller 

You can gradually work your way up to a harder roller as you get more comfortable with the process. 

Roll Slowly and Deliberately

Don’t try to go too fast, as this can cause pain. Avoid rolling over any bony areas or joints. 

Stop If You Feel Any Pain

Foam rolling should not be painful. If it is, you’re probably doing it wrong. 

Drink Plenty of Water Afterwards

This will help to flush out toxins and reduce inflammation.

Custom Coaching From Total Health and Fitness

Stretching and foam rolling are great ways to improve your flexibility, range of motion, and overall wellness. However, they’re only part of the equation when it comes to achieving your health goals. If you really want to see results, you need to pay attention to all parts of the equation.

That’s where custom nutrition, fitness, and accountability coaching from Total Health and Fitness comes in. We’ll work with you to create a personalized plan that fits your unique needs, preferences, and aspirations so you can finally achieve the results you’ve been hoping for. Contact us for a consultation today!