Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Stretching is a vital, yet often overlooked and neglected, component of fitness.
Why is that?
Well, at FLEXSPACE we often hear ideas that some people genuinely believe to be true about stretching. We are here to share that some of those are just myths and should not work to discourage you from working on your flexibility/mobility.
Let's look at a couple of those myths today!
1️⃣ STRETCHING CLASSES ARE ONLY SUITABLE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH A BACKGROUND IN DANCE/GYMNASTICS
False. You can and should stretch at any age and with any level of experience. While it is easier to make flexibility/mobility gains when you are younger, it's never too late to feel better in your body, get rid of any kinks or imbalances, or even achieve your childhood dream of doing the splits. Even if you are not interested in improving your flexibility/mobility, you need to stretch consistently to simply keep them at the same level as today. As we grow older, changes to collagen and elastin production along with ligament shortening can cause reduction in flexibility/mobility. Stretching can help delay this aging process and help you feel freer, for longer.
2️⃣ SPLITS ARE NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE AND ARE ALWAYS PAINFUL TO WORK ON
False. Yes, it is possible (yet very uncommon) for hip structure to prevent some people from achieving the splits. However, most healthy adults can get there with regular flexibility training.
Does it mean everybody should?
No, unless the splits are a goal of yours. Splits are still considered an extreme range and should be approached very carefully to make sure you don't get injured in the process of achieving them. Time and patience will be your best friends here.
As for the topic of pain - while discomfort is to be expected with any stretching activity, sharp, spasm-like sensations are NOT good and are your body's way of signaling that it needs you to back off.
It is very important to slowly and gradually increase your workload to make sure your body has enough time to adapt and open up.
Do you know of any other myths that you have learned to be untrue? Share below, friends! 🔽