Bend don’t break!
Its recently been highlighted to me the importance of stretching before and after training. I’ll be the first to admit that I had very little stretching routine and I am about as flexible as a brick. This was shown however when I attained an injury a few months back that I am just starting to get over now!
This injury probably wouldn’t have occurred had I bent more so as not to break! Martial artists are especially in need of stretching in my eyes as we use our bodies so much and in such a variety of ways. Depending on the art of style we may be doing head high kicks, requiring flexibility in the legs and hips. We may need to fall correctly to safely get out of throws or locks, again requiring flexibility. As martial artists we constantly punish our bodies through training, pushing ourselves to develop further. There is a massive need therefore – to stretch!!
It’s boring and I really don’t enjoy it. I’d prefer to just get on the mat and train or hit the gym and lift the weights, but flexibility can help in so many ways! It can reduce injuries, but also build muscle and increased recovery time when working out and so, speaking from experience, get stretching people! I am just starting to get back to training after suffering sciatica (at 24?!) which was probably induced by throwing my body around and punishing it too much, and not stretching appropriately before and after! I now am making a solid effort to get flexible and build it back up as a few weeks ago I literally couldn’t bend at the waist due to the sciatica! It’s getting better now slowly but surely, and when it is better I will ensure I maintain a stretching routine so that it doesn’t happen again, because trust me, it was no fun!
So stretch everyone! Probably not as much as the girl in the video above……she apparently has no bones, but bend so you don’t break!!