ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee has been in the game long enough to realise the utmost importance of stretching to any exercise routine.
People tend to overlook any pre or post workout stretching, but it's critical to increasing flexibility and keeping the muscles supple.
The Singaporean star offers some tips on how you can best employ regular stretching into your fitness programme.
1. Stretch pre and post workout
While stretching before any exercise is essential, doing so afterward is almost just as important. It will help with the recovery of your muscles and limit any stiffness the next morning, says Lee.
“It is very important to never stretch cold. You should always be a little bit warm before you stretch,” Lee says.
“Also, after your workout when you are still warm, it is important to stretch.”
2. Work your entire body
Because most activities, especially martial arts, use a huge range of muscles, it's crucial that you ensure you don’t overlook any when it comes to your stretching.
“I do a full-body stretch. I start on my feet and I will rotate my arms and shoulders, then stretch my mid-section and work my way down to the legs,” Lee says.
“I try to get a really good full-body stretch because when you pull a muscle, it is the worst feeling in the world. Stretching definitely helps to prevent those.”
3. Take your time
We all know how precious free time is in this busy world, but that's no excuse for rushing through your stretching routine.
Lee recommends you take 10 to 15 minutes, both before and after your workout.
“You cannot really get a good stretch in if it is anything less than that. It really depends if you like to take your time with each position and stretch. Then, by all means, stretch longer,” she says.