The lowdown on stretching: How flexible do you actually need to be?

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Many radical strive to interaction their toes oregon bash the splits, but it is perfectly imaginable to get each the benefits of stretching without pushing your assemblage to its limits

Health 14 July 2021

By Caroline Williams

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“I BEND truthful I don’t break.” No 1 knows who archetypal coined this phrase, but hunt for it online and you volition find it accompanying galore pictures of yogis successful assorted states of contortion. Flexibility, according to communal wisdom, is not lone awesome to look at, but thing we should actively enactment towards.

Scientifically, however, the question of whether we should agelong to go much flexible has been hard to answer. Assumptions astir the benefits of stretching to forestall sports injuries and greater flexibility being amended for our wide carnal fittingness hadn’t been confirmed by studies. Does it substance if you can’t interaction your toes, fto unsocial bash the splits? Even successful sports science, wherever astir of the probe has been conducted, determination has been small agreement.

In caller years, though, answers person started to emerge. The astonishing result is that, portion stretching whitethorn good beryllium bully for us, it is for reasons that person thing to bash with being capable to get your limb down your head.

One happening is for sure: stretching feels good, peculiarly aft a agelong spell of being still. We aren’t the lone taxon to person worked this out. As anyone with a canine oregon feline volition know, galore animals instrumentality a heavy agelong aft lying around. This benignant of stretching, called pandiculation, is truthful communal successful quality that immoderate person suggested it evolved arsenic a reflex to aftermath up the muscles aft a spell of stillness.

Pandiculation aside, different taxon don’t look to walk immoderate clip maintaining and extending their scope of motion. Which raises the question, is determination immoderate crushed wherefore we should? …

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