- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
The Importance of Stretching Your Leg Muscles
I have written several blogs about the importance of stretching, and gaining flexibility in your body. I want to focus this blog on how important it is to keep your leg muscles stretched and flexible.
Through the many years that I have worked with people in fitness, it is common to have tight hamstrings and calves. Most of the people that I have worked with do not have tight quadriceps, but occasionally a client will show a tightness there too.
Did you know that you can have back problems when your calves and hamstrings are tight? Did you know that if your calves are tight, they can pull on your hamstring and cause a tightness to travel all the way up to your back and neck?
Many people experience this, but there are several very simple stretches that you can do that do not take much time to avoid this type of tightness and possible injury.
First off, our calves are the work horse for our body. Think about it...they have to lift your body every time you walk, run, or step in anyway. They are very strong, working, muscles, and need attention when it comes to flexibility. Keeping your calves flexible will help keep you from experiencing problems in your hips, back, and even your neck.
Here are a few calf stretches you can do to avoid getting injured:
Our hamstrings are where most of us are tight. Some people are born limber, but most of us have to practice stretching to keep these muscles flexible. Our backs will suffer if these muscles stay tight and inflexible. These should be done at least once a day, and multiple times would be better.
Here are a few hamstring stretches to keep you flexible and to avoid back issues:
Stretching our quadriceps is important too. Although many of us do not have tight quadriceps like we do tight hamstrings, it is still important to keep these muscles flexible to avoid body injury and discomfort.
Here are some quadriceps stretches to add to your stretching routine:
So make sure that you are doing these stretches on a daily bases, particularly if you have exercised, but doing them is important even if you are not exercising every day. Hopefully you are though! Exercising each day will get you to your goal of being fit, and feeling fantastic....just don't forget to stretch!