Too often we look for instant gratification. We want sweat, muscle pumps, and strain to tell us that we are doing the right thing. Lifting weights or doing some intense conditioning achieve this!
Stretching - not so much. You don’t get into a stretch and feel those calories burning or your biceps getting bigger.
Does that make it less important?
You may have seen this picture of Ryan and Francis on our Social Media.
Ryan had just come back from a weightlifting seminar and was testing out some of his newly acquired knowledge on poor Francis.
One of the main things Ryan took away from the seminar, was the importance of stretching. He saw an elite athlete throw some heavy weight around like it was nothing. Ultimately Ryan wants to be shifting heavier and heavier weights. It’s easy to get lost in this and focus purely on lifting. Instead, Ryan cleverly opted to work on his movement and flexibility and came away with a source of inspiration that will probably serve him better long term.
I know people go on about mobility all the time and it isn’t the most exciting element of fitness. However, I don’t think there is anyone who can honestly say that they don’t need to stretch more or wouldn’t benefit from being more mobile.
So why don’t we?
Its dull! You are holding positions, focussing on your breathing and not actively building muscle or burning fat. With my own workouts, if I’m short on time, you can be sure that mobility is the first component of the workout that I scrap.
When you lift a weight, you feel like you are doing something positive, its easy for this not to be the case when you stretch. However, it is the case. You don't need me to explain why a better quality squat has a greater potential to be strong/safe and aid in longevity. Now is the time to do something about it so that you can utilise those benefits.
We need to learn to reframe our minds so that we are looking to the long term.
Instant gratification will not happen with stretching. For those that don’t take the time to stretch you need to do the minimal effective dose. The smallest amount of stretching that will make progress.
This is your minimal effective dose.
Everyday - 1 stretch, 2 minutes.
The stretch is up to you, (why not ask one of us for some help on identifying one that suits you best) the two minutes can be spared by anyone.
This won’t be enough to get an olympic gold medal, but its better than nothing!
Then, your only focus is on consistency.
When will you do the stretch? What time? Make it so simple and with so few obstacles that there’s no way you won’t do it.
Im committing myself to it - do something for yourself and get involved!
Who is with me and who needs some help?