If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always get.

One of the best parts of my job is talking to people who really want to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. I’m sure you know people that every time you meet, its superbly energising and both of you get a lot out of it.

One such person in my life wrote in with a superb question. This person has been on a stretching program to increase suppleness and strength around key joints in the body, which caused them to ask this very important question:

Q: You know how you should vary your exercise regime otherwise you get little benefit etc…? Does the same apply to stretching?

In previous articles we’ve addressed why stretching is so beneficial and the many different types you can do.

So if we just stick to stretching

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When you start your stretching routine your flexibility will improve. Let’s say from 4/10 to 6/10 (with 0 being very stiff and 10 meaning you could probably kiss your toes whilst upside down in a crap position listening to dolphin music). What will happen, as the question correctly suggested, is that your body gets used to it. In this case, if you keep doing the same stretching routine, your body will get used to it.

This has pro’s and con’s:

Con’s: – You probably won’t improve your suppleness and will stay at 6/10, which isn’t a bad con at all really if you’re happy maintaining what you have and preventing any further deterioration.

Pro’s: – Due to lifestyles (sitting down a lot, sedentary living) we get very tight very quickly, so any regular stretching routine, even if it’s always the same will keep you feeling good and prevent you becoming as stiff, plus prevent aches and pains developing.

Thoughts to consider: – 

– Movement in general, but especially stretching just does good stuff for us (highly technical terms). When we stretch, in literal and figurative ways it can help release stress, tension and release hormones that make you feel better.

– There are a million different tiny changes you could use in your every day routine that would make a difference and stimulate improvement. Long exhales as you move deeper into the stretch is one. Contract-relax is another.

– If you’re looking to improve your mobility but don’t know where to start, Kelly Starretts mobilityWOD on YouTube is hilarious and hugely helpful.

Have a great week guys.

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