Improve your flexibility, prevent injuries and prevent or reduce muscle soreness. Here are 6 tips and great examples of how to do modified hurdlers stretch.
Why Stretching is So Important
Stretching is very important to me and I have been doing it all of my life. My family and I are active in the martial art Tae Kwon Do. Tae Kwon Do is the martial art at is known for its high kicks. You can not do these high kicks without injury unless you know how to properly stretch, and the modified hurdler stretch is an important one. Proper stretching is very very important if martial arts, and it is also very important for all physical activities.
Tips For Proper Stretching
You need to be careful when you stretch. For many amateur athletes stretching is a neglected part of their workout routine. Even though we all learn in gym or P.E. class we should stretch. For the professional athlete stretching is a core part of their training
1. Warm Up The Muscles Before You Stretch
You may be stretching your muscles before you exercise. This can be a big mistake and you could injure yourself. If you are doing stretches as your only warm up you are likely in for some trouble. Admittedly, you should stretch for part of your warm-up, but it shouldn’t be your only warm-up. In fact, if you stretch your muscles without them being warm you are very likely to injure them. However, performing a stretch and actually stretching your muscles can be two different things.
5 Minute Warm Up To Do Prior to Stretching
2. Stretching Should Feel Uncomfortable But Not Painful
Learning to stretch can be very difficult and teaching others to stretch properly is even more difficult. Because when you are stretching your muscle you are actually getting the muscle to get longer. Pulling and stretching the muscle tissue will feel uncomfortable. However, you don’t want to pull the muscle (medically) which will likely be tearing the muscle tissue. Everyone has a different pain threshold. For this reason, people with a low pain threshold may think that the discomfort is painful and not get a good stretch. Other who have a high pain threshold has the risk of damaging the muscle when they stretch. For people with a high pain threshold, it is even more important that the muscle is warm before you stretch.
3. Control Your Breathing and Control Your Stretching
One of the best ways to relax into a stretch is through breathing. Besides being warm to stretch your muscle must also be relaxed. Since controlling your breathing is one of the best ways to relax, it is also one of the best ways to get a good stretch. Many people stretch for time, I find this difficult and distracting to keep looking at a clock or setting a timer. Instead, I like to stretch for breathing cycles and use the cycles to increase my stretch. First, relax into the stretch when breathing out trying to increase the stretch. Next, hold the stretch when breathing in using deep breaths to relax while stretching. Repeat this cycle 1-3 times for each stretch. The average breaths per minute are 12 – 20, but if you are breathing deeply it will be much less.
4. Stretch Before Training to Improve Mobility and Prevent Injury
Once your muscles are warm it is time to stretch them. Your warm-up shouldn’t be your entire exercise routine. If you are just starting out exercising then maybe it will be. The goal should be to continue to push yourself. Once you are pushing yourself hard, you will need to stretch before you exercise with high intensity. If you are doing any kind of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), where you are actually pushing yourself to your limits, you will need to warm up and stretch first. You should also stretch before other activities such as martial art and sports where you are likely to fall like skiing or snowboarding to prevent injuries.
5. Stretch After Training to Increase Flexibility
Stretching before exercise is about preventing injury more than increasing flexibility. If you really want to increase your flexibility you want to stretch your muscles after they have been exhausted. Although you might think that your muscle will be tenser and full of blood after you work it, it is actually primed to increase flexibility. In fact, once your muscle is tired it will easily give in to elongating through a good stretch. For that reason, it is very beneficial to use a good stretching routine as a cooldown method that will also increase your flexibility.
6. Start Out Modified and Work Into Deeper Stretches.
You need to know your limits and don’t get frustrated. Many people have neglected stretching and it takes time to get back the flexibility you once had or gain flexibility that you may have never had. For most stretches like the hurdlers stretch there are modifications to ease your way into the stretch. I don’t recommend doing the hurdlers stretch for most people. The reason is that it put undue pressure on your knee. Therefore, unless you actually plan on running some hurdles you don’t knee to do that stretch and you can see why in the video below. The modified hurdler stretch shown first is a good hamstring stretch.
3 thoughts on “6 Tips For the Best Modified Hurdler Stretch”
I can already see improvements in my flexibility after using these tips in the last two days.
Hi thanks for these tips on stretching, I really want to increase my flexibility. I will give them a try, hope they work.
Thanks for this breakdown, I had been doing the hurdler stretch all wrong.
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