I learned the hard way why it is important to stretch!

I tell people all the time the importance of stretching, for good flexibility, to prevent the risk of injury, to increase blood flow to muscles, well it is also kind of relaxing…the reward after a hard workout.

Well, I should have taken my own advice…I was not taking the time to stretch.  My training for the figure competition requires me to work my shoulders more than what they are used to doing.  So, what has happened is my muscles are growing and they are getting compressed and it is very uncomfortable.  I went to a massage therapist and she did a great job massaging, stretching and using trigger points to try and relieve some of the pain I’m feeling.  She also told me to ice my shoulders and STRETCH!!  It has been a week since I have seen her and my shoulders are doing much better because I listened to her and did everything she said to do.  I did have one day where I had to drop the amount of weight I was lifting because it was so painful to push through the movements and that is not where I want to be this early on in my training.  Also, I have re-aggravated a previous injury to my shoulder, so we are now working on healing that.  If only I had stretched from day one!!

My daughter takes gymnastics and they stretch for about 15 minutes before they begin practice, such a great regimen to follow and all the kids do it, they are like machines.

Had I stayed on top of stretching I would not have this problem right now and I would be increasing weight rather than decreasing the weight I lift.  Since we are talking about shoulders the other great thing to do for  your shoulders as a preventative measure it to perform rotator cuff exercises.  This will help to prevent rotator cuff injuries.

I’m signing off now so that I can stretch and ice!

 

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