Tuesday 2 August 2011

Stretch natural

Hi again

Ever wondered why animals don't see their prey and burst into a 10 minute stretching routine in prep for the chase? Ever noticed how the lion doesn't wait for the deer to complete a yoga workout before the chase begins?

Stretching is a concept we have created for ourselves to compensate for the way we live our lives, day to day. And our main enemy? I'm afraid to say its the (less than) humble chair!

Think of the sitting position. A position that puts most of our muscle groups at the position of least stretch. A midpoint between stretches shall we say. And what do we spend all day doing these days? You guessed it...sitting.

If you have time, check out how tribesmen and women spend their leisure and even working time. They sit in a variety of 'healthier' ways.

Cross legged - Straight legged - Deep squat - Kneeling etc

All these positions stretch major muscle groups while you do whatever you are doing. Check it out when you have some time and you'll be surprised.

I'm not saying we shouldn't stretch. In our lifestyles today we need to stretch to counteract our sedentary habits. But, if we spent a little more time sitting naturally, we could increase flexibility and maybe lower our chances of dreaded sports injuries.

Let me know if you already do this, or give it a try and see the difference.

Until soon


  1. You've got some good stuff on here mate, but I reckon this is the most important one so far. The point about our way of sitting being a position of minimal stretch is one I hadn't really thought of (not to mention the position most people put their spines in while sitting...), as well as contrasting this with traditional ways.

    When your muscles aren't stretched regularly, they shorten. When you then try to push into end-range, you get an injury due to over-stretching. Changing the way people sit could have a massive effect on the frequency of injuries, especially in sportsmen and -women.

    I'll bear that in mind for when I start practice.

  2. Interesting to see another blog commenting on the same subject. Very good article about squatting and stretching at: http://therunningbug.co.uk/rbblogs/plant-powered-running-girl/b/weblog/archive/2011/11/17/deep-sqatting-can-help-your-barefoot-running-who-knew.aspx