You know those people who can fold in half like Gumby and touch their forehead to their knees? It's annoying, right? Perhaps, because despite our best efforts, we're just not that flexible.
It's probably because we'd rather jog six miles than do an hour of yoga. But you don't have to look like someone who stretches to be good at stretching. You just have to do it—everyday.
Your flexibility range may be small, but these rewards will still be there if you put in daily effort:
- Prevent injuries
- Better your posture
- Boost daily energy
When to Stretch?
Stretch whenever you can. When you wake up. In your office while you're on a conference call. Standing on the street corner waiting for the bus. It really doesn't matter. Just a few minutes will prevent common athletic injuries.
More: Why Stretch Every Day
4 Stretches for Common Athletic Injuries
Injury: Shin Splints
This nasty injury is most common in people new to running, or people who added ttoo much mileage too quickly. Characterized by sharp pain in the front (and sometimes sides) of the shin, they can sideline you for weeks. This heel drop stretch is both a calf strengthener and lengthener, making it super effective for preventing this injury.
Stretch: Heel drops
Stand barefoot on a step, with your heels aligned with the edge. Scoot back so that the ball of your right foot is still on the step and lift up your left leg by bending your knee. Lift up onto your right toes, hold, and then lower your right heel all the way down below the step, feeling the stretch through the entire back of your leg. Pause at the bottom and then lift back up onto your toe. Continue this for 15 repetitions before switching legs.