Hello Everyone. Today’s article is a guest post from AstroNutrition
If you read fitness blogs, then you already know how important exercise is for your health and wellbeing. Regular exercise keeps your body strong and your mind clear. But it’s becoming more and more apparent that how you exercise is just as important as exercise itself. That’s why a growing number of fitness enthusiasts are incorporating bending exercises into their regular fitness routine. Proper fitness requires more than just building impressive biceps. Maintaining muscle tone and flexibility between strenuous muscle-building workouts helps reduce injury and improves your long-term physical capabilities.
Many people don’t appreciate the value of a bending routine performed once or twice a week to supplement their regular strength-building workouts. Your body needs time to recover from the muscle breakdown experienced during rigorous training sessions. A recovery period of 48-72 hours is recommended between strength-building workouts. During this recovery period, bending exercises are a great way to reduce stiffness, maintain flexibility, and lower the risk of injury during your next muscle-building session.
A bending exercise session is similar to a yoga class. Some people, usually those who haven’t tried yoga, might complain that yoga itself is no more than a stretch session. “Yoga is NOT stretching,” writes Brandon Hofer at breakingmuscle.com, and neither is a bending exercise workout. Like yoga, the purpose of a bending exercise routine is to promote flexibility, mobility, and strength. Adding a bending exercise routine to your active rest days can enhance your overall physical performance by repairing muscle and speeding recovery. Active recovery can repair muscle fibres more quickly than passive recovery by encouraging blood flow to broken-down muscle tissue. The combination of stretching and relaxing muscles, which is the feature of a bending exercise routine, stimulates blood flow to your strained muscle groups, thereby improving muscle recovery and repair.
While researching bending exercises, I came across this 1936 article that I just had to share. “A thick waist is an awful waste – an unnecessary waste of feminine attractiveness,” the author explains. It’s a fascinating look into the past, but unfortunately the premise of the article is false. It’s important to remember the purpose of a bending exercise routine. While bending exercises will tone your muscles, they won’t do a whole lot for your waistline. Fat burning requires a lean and healthy diet coupled with regular cardio (aerobic) training. You can tone your abs all you want, but if your belly drapes over your midsection like a comforter, no amount of reps focused on your oblique muscles will expose your hidden abs.
No, bending exercises are not about fat burning. They’re about maintaining your mobility, speeding recovery, and preparing your body for more strenuous training by reducing your risk of injury.
Back Bends: Great for opening the upper chest and front body muscles. This bending exercise compresses and relieves back muscles, which helps to oxygenate and flush waste from the muscles. Remember to ease into back bends. Use props if necessary to support the stretch and take pressure off your lower back.
Forward Bends: Crucial for stretching hamstrings and spine. You know that stiff feeling that hits the day after a long run or an intense gym session? Forward bends are an important method to loosen tight hamstrings and back muscles. People with back problems or hamstring or spine injuries should consult a trainer before implementing forward bends into their bending exercise routine.
Side Bends: Like I said earlier, side bends (which focus on your oblique muscles) won’t trim your waist, but they will improve your core mobility, making it easier to twist, turn, and bend during more intense training. Injuries to core muscles can significantly limit your ability to train. That’s why it’s so important to keep these muscles active on rest days, maintaining flexibility and mobility until your next lift.
To avoid injury, you should always start with basic bends. But as you progress, you’ll want to include more advanced bends into your routine. If you’re new to the idea of bending exercises, I recommend going to a few yoga classes to learn how to properly engage in more advances poses. Many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts use yoga on active rest days to supplement their regular muscle-building workouts. This keeps their muscles toned, improves their mobility and flexibility, and reduces their risk of injury.
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