Stretching is great :)

This week has been my first full week back doing full-on cardio classes at the gym. As many of you will know I don’t just teach Pilates… currently I teach 8 Pilates classes and then I have a back to back Step Aerobics followed by Spin session on a Tuesday and a Step followed by a Body Conditioning class on a Thursday. I love teaching these classes but they can be quite tiring so I’m trying to look after myself in between classes with good nutrition, plenty of hydration and hopefully some sleep! Having a baby means I have to dash back from classes as quickly as possible, jump in the shower and quickly feed her so she can get to sleep. What I noticed today was due to the rush home I hadn’t stretched fully and suddenly had tight, tight hamstrings…. ouch.

Tight hamstrings can affect your posture, your movement, stop you using your abdominals correctly and lead to tight back muscles. If you usually have tight hamstrings it lead to a tucked under pelvis as part of the hamstrings function is to keep the pelvis aligned. When muscles are tight, they are weak. This means they can’t hold the pelvis in position properly 🙁 So you end up with a tilted pelvis, you can’t use your core muscles properly and your body compensates, meaning it all comes out of line and you get backache.

Hoe do you know if your hamstrings are tight? Good question. According to these guys you should be able to lie down, with one leg extended on the mat and the other leg in the air, foot towards ceiling, this leg should go to 80-90 degrees comfortably. Give it a go. Is your leg staying down on the mat? Check your spine, are you still in neutral? If the answer is No, you need to take the raised leg further away from the body and do some hamstring stretches.

So tonight at the end of Pilates we stretched out using resistance bands. It felt good. After everyone had gone I went back in the studio and had a good long stretch using a band….oh my, that was needed 🙂

If like me you rush around and sometimes, (well actually in my case often) forget to devote proper time to stretching try and build some in this weekend. Be it in front of the TV, whilst out in the garden or whilst waiting for your roast dinner to cook…your body will thank you for it!

Let me know how it goes…comment below or send me a tweet (@dietitianuk).