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Tag: stretching

What are the Benefits of Hanging Exercise?

Simply hanging a bar is undoubtedly the best upper body stretch, that you need to do daily.  It is quick, simple and is really effective. In order to perform the hang stretch, you only will need a bar or something that can support your body weight to hang from. We will see how you should do it and all the benefits it will provide.

How to do it?

  1. Grab onto a bar. Wrap the bar with all your fingers, your palm facing away with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip.
  2. Try to hang yourself without touching the ground with your feet.
  3. Keep your body in alignment. Our tip to help you keep your body aligned is to press your legs and glutes together and keep your abs contracted.
  4. You should feel a stretch across the upper back, biceps, and triceps.

During the movement, try to relax your body and let the weight of your body drift towards the floor. This action is called “traction”, giving you the feeling that your muscles and body start to lengthen.

The benefits

As we have already said, the bar hanging is definitely the best you can do for your upper body.

🔸Improve the strength of your grip

Hanging a bar will make your grip stronger as you will be supporting your entire body. Which means that you will be better in other training exercises requiring a strong grip (pull-ups, deadlifts, rows, etc).

🔸Make your shoulder stronger

Having strong shoulders will allow you to perform safely pressing and overhead movements.

🔸Healthy Spine

Hanging a bar could be very useful for those who have spinal compression or pull heavy barbells on a regular basis. It can relax your back and relieve you from unwanted lower back pain and soreness.

🔸Improve your posture

When we are hanging a bar, we try to keep our body in a straight position. If you do this exercise daily, it will increase your awareness of postural imbalances.

🔸Improve your workouts

Bar hanging is considered as a really good warm-up before a training proposing pull-ups, chin-up or other gymnastic movements. Hanging exercises can improve your workouts at a general level as you will increase grip strength, flexibility, body weight movement, shoulder stability, back strength, and posture.

 

 

Why you should consider stretching for your body maintenance 🧘‍♀

Why you should consider stretching for your body maintenance

Stretching is not only the best way to increase your flexibility, but it is also a vital form to maintain your body! 

When you are stretching your muscles after a long run or doing a few stretches after a few hours sitting at your desk, you can see the benefits of stretching. Most of the time, your body needs it, asks for it and it makes you feel good!

However, we can admit that we should practice it more often. Experts think that the body should receive stretching exercises on a consistent basis. Indeed, flexibility is one of the components of fitness which means that as the other components such as cardio training or strength training, stretching is a necessary part of your fitness routine. Stretching helps the muscles function normally (they will be more receptive) by resolving tension and improving the circulation.

With a consistent stretching routine, you can increase mobility, flexibility, blood flow and muscles function. But also you can:

🔸Help your muscles heal:

One of the main benefits from stretching is that it can recover your muscles after heavy exercises. After a strong training, muscles fibers can be overly contracted. Stretching allows realigning tissue within the muscle and connective tendons so that they can heal. If not stretched, your muscles will be shortened of their range of motion, decreasing your results.

🔸 It prevents aches and pains

When you start noticing discomfort or just minor aches in certain muscles for example if you are sitting at a desk during too many hours, after carrying heavy weight from the supermarket or simply after a tough training, the solution is STRETCHING. Ashes and pains are just a sign that your body needs some extra attention.

🔸 It improves your workouts

Stretching allows you to enhance performance and to get better results. As your range of motion is improved, you will gain in physical performance.

🔸 it improves your movements at a general level

You will be better prepared to perform any kind of physical activity during your daily life (carrying bags, running to catch the bus, climbing stairs, etc).

🔸 It can reduce stress

Stretching training can be really relaxing, specifically the stretching activity when you are taking deep breaths (yoga for example). You can also see it as a form of meditation.

Stretching is specifically recommended to people who sit or stand a lot and for people who train a lot. If you want to increase your flexibility on a permanent and long-term, it is recommended to schedule 2-3 stretching sessions of 30 to 60 minutes a week.  Hold each position during at least 30 seconds and be careful not to push a muscle too far.

🧘‍♀

 

Do we need to stretch before exercising?

Do we need to stretch before exercising?

A few years ago, to stretch before exercising in team sports was an activity widely recognized, especially the static stretching during which you undertake a pose and you hold it from a few seconds to long minutes.

However, recent studies have demonstrated that a prolonged static stretching could cause reactions in the nervous system that might weaken temporarily the stretched muscles and the performance of athletes.

Many coaches and sports organizations recommend the dynamic stretching because your limbs and joints always stay in motion.

With the purpose to analyze the effects of dynamic stretching on performance, some scientists have tested different stretching routines on 20 young male athletes in team sports (rugby and football) for 4 days.

In order to have the best conditions for the study, the warm-up consisted of a few minutes jogging, a stretching and then 15 minutes of intense sprinting, jumping and other fast moves. During the 4 days, only the stretching was changed.

The first day, during their warm-up, the athletes completed 9 basic static stretching for different muscles, each of them last 5 seconds. The second day, the same 9 stretches were completed again but for 30 seconds each. The third day, the same stretches were done but with the dynamic version. And the last day, no stretching was done during their warm-up. The athletes had to complete tests every day to measure their flexibility, agility, jumping and sprinting.

Results: the performance of the athletes didn’t change, regardless of the type of stretching (dynamic or static) and even without any warm-up. So, to stretch before exercising?  It’s up to you to decide! The answer will depend on how do you feel about stretching and the type of exercise do you want to do!