Women's Health South Africa
Flex TIME Image Credit: Women's Health South Africa
Flex TIME Image Credit: Women's Health South Africa

Flex Time

Busting out kettlebell swings, but struggling to bend down and tie your shoelaces? Many of us are forgoing flexibility in favour of strength. But with dedicated stretch classes popping up in health clubs across the country, that’s changing. Allow us to elaborate on why a loose muscle may also be the secret to a stronger muscle

Amelia Jean Jones

For most of us, stretching is like handwashing your delicates and flossing between your teeth – it’s that thing you know you should do, but, well, you don’t. Case in point: think back over the past week – how many minutes can you say you devoted to getting a really deep stretch? If the answer is none, it’s time to re-evaluate your weekly movement.

Flex that muscle

The truth is, substituting some of your cardio or strength routines with a good stretch could make your body feel younger and healthier – and make your workouts feel more sustainable in the long run. “Stretching makes exercises like squats and dead lifts easier by improving your overall body mechanics,” says personal trainer Ashley Borden. It could even prevent damage from occurring in the first place. “The aim of flexibility work is to be able to freely move your body through a wider range of motion,” says certified strength and conditioning specialist Luke Worthington. “It reduces wear and tear on muscle tissue and connective tissue around the joints, which cuts your risk of injury.”

Just a little more...

There’s a psychological component to stretching as well. “Pain is your brain’s perception of a threat to your body’s status quo,” says Worthington. When you stretch those tight hammies past their comfort zon


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