This weekend I hosted my very first Pilates Retreat Day. A day to getaway, relax, focus, and practise Pilates. Something I have always wanted to attend myself but have never found, so I created my own! I feel so lucky to call this my “work”; the whole process from the planning & organisation, writing routines, creating playlists, and finally the hosting & teaching on the day was so much fun. We used the perfect location of the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, which meant we could spend the whole day there using the facilities in between classes. Each class had a special theme to follow a journey for the day.
A topic that everyone who works out discusses at some point! Stretching is a fundamental part of any exercise routine, any injury prevention programme and for anyone who wants to take care of their body.
Muscles are contractile tissues, which means they are designed to contract and tighten in order to allow your body to function, however, if they are not provided with stretching techniques to counteract this the tissues remain with a degree of tightness. Over time this can become greater and greater.
Another favourite area for tightening up and causing us problems! The hip joint is a large, complex joint but it is actually often a tight joint, surrounded by the gluteals and smaller rotator muscles that can shorten and restrict the hip even more.
These surrounding muscles are used so much for pelvic stability, which becomes essential for all sports, not least in running. They support the impact from the ground and if well developed, they can reduce the load through the smaller joints like the knee and ankle. However, because they are working so hard they tighten so easily!
Try these 5 hip opening stretches to loosen the hips:
Everybody hates them. Everybody feels theirs could be more flexible. Everybody is probably right unfortunately! The hamstring muscles are notorious for being tight, because of their location crossing both the hip and knee joints.
In order to fully stretch them you must have the hip and knee fully extended, and hold your stretch! This is a rare position to be in day-to-day and almost all sports and activities involve flexing these joints, so the hamstrings rarely experience full stretch.