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10 Things You Should Know About Stretching

Before Martial Arts training (or any fitness training), you must give importance to doing warm-up or stretching exercises to prevent injuries and to enhance your physical output during class. There are also a number of precautionary measures and tips to serve as guidelines when doing fitness exercises. Here are some of them.

1. To increase your flexibility and to avoid injuries, stretch before and after workout. Almost everyone knows that stretching before workout prevents injuries during the exercises, but only few people know that stretching after workout, when muscles are still warm, can increase flexibility.

2. Hold your stretching position for more than 60 seconds to increase flexibility. While holding your position for 20 seconds is enough for warm ups, holding each position for at least 60 seconds will develop the body's flexibility.

3. Do not go into a stretching position then immediately return to the relaxed position, and do it repeatedly. This is more appropriately termed as ‘bouncing or bounding’ while in a position. When stretching, hold that position for several seconds, and then slowly relax. You should do this exercise repeatedly this way. Bouncing, bounding, or forcing yourself into a position during stretching can strain or damage some joints or muscles.

4. Work slowly in increments instead of immediately proceeding to doing the hardest exercise or position.

5. Make sure that you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups. For some people, even if they have strong bodies, they tend to neglect the neck when working out of stretching. Stretching the neck muscles can be as simple as placing the palm of one's hand against the front of the head and pushing it. Then, do the same to the sides and the back of the head.

6. Stretch regularly and consistently to continually increase your range of movements and your level of flexibility and strength.

7. Workout considering only your capabilities and not of others. Do not force yourself to do exercises that you are not yet capable of just because there are other people who can do it. Increase your limits gradually. Listen to your body. There are days when your body may be too tired that you may have to consider reducing your range of motion.

8. Learn to rest. Rest in between sets and stations to make sure that the body has enough time to recover its energy. Also, it is advisable that you don't work the same muscle groups consecutively for two days. The muscles grow during the period when you rest and not when you are working out.

9. Do aerobic exercises to strengthen your heart. Aerobic exercises are those physical activities that much oxygen for fuel. This includes cardiovascular exercises such as Kardio Kicks, skipping rope, running or swimming.

10. Music may help you when you want to train for longer periods or to increase your intensity. Although most smart phones have apps and music services you can use mp3 players, CD players or lightweight am radio receivers for this. Just make sure that you brought your headset with you so you wouldn't disturb people who don't prefer music while exercising.

Apart from preventing injuries and increasing one's limit, it is also said that stretching is good for a tired body and also for a stressed mind and spirit.

Time to enjoy the fun of fitness of a Martial Movement program like the ones offered at the Port Credit Academy of Martial Arts in South Mississauga. Kardio Kicks (Fitness Kickboxing), Karate, and Tai Chi all complement each other in a well-rounded blend of Martial Arts training.

The Port Credit Academy of Martial Arts in South Mississauga has been voted the best club in Mississauga and Port Credit area since 2001 by the readers of the Mississauga News. In addition, the Academy was voted as the “Top Choice” for Martial Arts clubs in Mississauga for the last two years (2016, 2017).



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