Leslie Wieczorek – Wii NEED TO STRETCH!
November 1, 2010 By: Blogger
Lately, I have been getting together with friends and having some laughs as we Wii bowl. Lately, I have been experiencing some pain and tightness in my right hip. Since this is a new pain to me, I was able to discern that the Wii was to blame! Now, I am not a bowler (in real life) but, it turns out my bowling form is pretty darn good. The problem is that I am moving in a way I never have and now noticing that my usual flexibility could be diminishing!
Flexibility is defined as the range of motion about a joint. There are 3 factors that determine your flexibility; flexibility of the tendons and ligaments, flexibility of the muscles, and anatomical structure of the joint itself. Here is the kicker though….the only thing we can change in this series is the flexibility of the muscles. Of course the way you do that is to stretch within your fitness regimen.
The best time to stretch is after your body is warmed up; stretching beforehand could lead to injuries and has shown no proven benefit. Therefore, stretching after you have done 10-20 minutes of cardio or light weight lifting, between strength training sets or at the end of your workout is the best time to get muscles flexing. Unfortunately, when we work out on our own, it is also something that we tend to skip. I know that when I take a class at the gym, the trainers always warm you up in the beginning and then stretch it out at the end, but my workout tends to be straight cardio and strength training….hence the Wii injury!
Keeping your muscles flexible is super important because believe me, tight muscles can cause you chronic pain. Flexibility training helps balance muscle groups that might be overused during exercise or physical activity or even as a result of lousy posture. And stretching one muscle leads to balance for your other muscles. For example, tight hamstrings can cause your hips and pelvis to rotate back, flattening your lower back and suddenly, you have back problems.
Now the proper way to stretch is also important I have heard. Most of us know that we should stretch to the point of tension only and that overstretching can actually cause muscle strain. It is also good to note that bouncing during your stretch is a no-no!
After a week of this awful hip pain and feeling like an old woman, I know that a little stretching can go a long way!