What is stretching for, what are the benefits and how to do a great stretch of the legs and buttocks
- The various types
- The benefits
- Stretching for abs and buttocks
- Three great exercises to stretch abs and glutes
- How many times a week to do it
The various types
All the muscle groups of the body benefit from a stretch done with precision and following every movement with breathing. There are various types of stretching, let's go and see them in detail:
Usually it is athletes who resort to this type of stretching, being a specific stretch, which requires a good knowledge of the body to avoid going to bother the muscle fibers. It is based on the controlled oscillation of the limbs and this type of stretching is used especially in warm-up. If done well it keeps the muscles, tendons and ligaments elastic.
Executable both actively and passively, you stay in the position for 15-30 seconds and breathe deeply until the tension drops.
Active global stretching
It is based on the concept that only stretches achieved in a global way are those that are really useful; exercises aim to improve posture and general physiology of the body.
PNF (Neuromuscular proprioceptive facilitation)
Exquisitely based on biomechanics and neurophysiology, rather than stretching, this method consists of physiotherapy exercises useful for stimulating the proprioceptors to send muscle stimuli to specific areas of the nervous system.
In addition to improving muscle function, a constant stretch reduces the risk of cramps and contractures, increases the range of the joints and the general state of the musculoskeletal system. You should never feel discomfort or pain in the moment of tension, otherwise stretching is harmful; if anything, you should always feel a slight burning sensation given by the muscle being stretched.
Stretching allows you to remain flexible and greatly reduces the risk of injury if done at a medium-high body temperature and not "cold". If, on the other hand, you prefer to achieve it on rest days, it is advisable to do some aerobic activity first or following a hot bath or sauna.
Stretching for abs and buttocks
Together with the muscles of the iliac fossa, ileus psoas and lesser psoas, the muscles of the gluteal region make up the hip muscle groups. In turn, the gluteal region is divided into 3 muscle groups: gluteus maximus, medial and gluteus minimus, piriformis muscle, quadratus femur, internal obturator and upper and lower twin muscles. Having toned muscles in the gluteal area means ensuring adequate posture, preventing any lumbosciatica and pain affecting the sciatic nerve (often the nerve, becoming enlarged, “beats” on the piriformis muscle giving rise to the aforementioned muscle syndrome, very annoying).
The reasons why it is advisable to maintain a toned abdominal area are many and they combine well with a tonic state of the muscles of the gluteal area: it is a "system of tie rods" that balances and balances the anterior and posterior chains and to benefit from them are also important internal organs and muscles involved in breathing. The muscles of the abdominal area have a function of collecting, supporting and protecting organs that deal with vital functions such as digestion, absorption and evacuation.
Three great exercises to stretch abs and glutes
To lengthen the abdominal area there is a position that, even when held in a static position, guarantees total extension, lengthening and stretching, especially if accompanied by long and deep breathing. In yoga it is called half cobra, in Pilates Swan, the swan. This exercise strengthens the back and legs and lengthens the abdominal area. Prone with your forehead resting on the floor, your forearms and palms resting forward against the floor, your toes relaxed. Breathing in, move the shoulders away from the ears and lower the shoulder blades along the spine to then throw the air out. Inhale while lifting the chest off the ground, pressing the pubis against the mat to protect the back. Exhale and return to lower yourself. You can repeat for 5 times keeping the buttocks toned and trying to control all the muscles in a conscious way.
Alternatively, alternating leg spreading is also a great way to get your abdomen and breath to work together. Lie on your back with your feet parallel, shoulder-width apart. The hands rest on the abdomen and when you inhale you voluntarily push the belly upwards, while on exhalation the belly is lowered and at the same time one knee opens towards the floor, making it go down as far as possible according to the opening of the 'hip. As you inhale, the knee returns to the starting position. The non-working leg remains stationary the entire time with the knee bent.
We conclude with a "gem" to have high and firm buttocks, the bridge, to be crowned with elongation of the posterior leg chain. Lie on a mat on your back, with your arms close to your body, palms down. Legs as wide as shoulders, knees bent, feet stable. On inhalation, the hips are raised upwards, contracting the abdomen and squeezing the buttocks. The position should be maintained as much as possible, feeling all the force in the buttocks. It comes down by exhaling and first placing the high vertebrae towards the ground up to the sacrum. To increase the work of the buttocks, work on the ascent and descent rhythm. An excellent idea to finish with stretching one leg at a time, taking it with your hands and bringing it slightly towards the chest and breathing deeply. In this way, by keeping each leg in stretching for at least 20 seconds, you work on elongating the posterior chain.
How many times a week to do it
Stretching should never be done when the muscles are too cold, so it is best to start with dynamic stretching and then move on to complete sequences of static stretching. If you dedicate a whole session to stretching, your overall recovery times also improve compared to any sport you do.
If, on the other hand, it is not a single session, it is perfectly fine to do it after each resistance or strength training, for example if you train 2-3 times a week. If the stretching is done before training, it is very important to increase the stretching progressively, without forcing in any way.