We all love our down times where we’re free to play golf with some mates on the weekend, play a casual game of tennis or heading down to the park to kick a footy with friends or family. Whatever we do in the little spare time we have, we do it because we love it. However when things go awry, it can really put a downer on our free time and our overall mindset.

For the majority of us working nine to five, five days a week, we spend a lot of time sitting or not moving at all. Let’s put things into perspective. There are 168 hours a weeks. If we think about how much time we sitting down to have meals, driving to and from work and sitting at a desk all day, those hours really begin to add up! By the end of the week when we’re ready to play our two hours of tennis after spending a majority of the week not moving, it might be a bit much to ask for our bodies to jump straight into sprinting across court and not expect something to give.

As a practitioner there have been many times where clients have asked why flexibility is important and why they need to work on it. The human body is very adaptable and in a way it is very good at cheating when it comes to keeping your body moving. By having that flexibility and mobility, our body is free to move without straining or forcing muscles to stretch beyond their capable range. This will prevent injuries and allow you to keep doing what you love.

Let’s take football for example where a client experiences back pain while kicking the ball. After a week of little movement, their hamstrings have stiffened up and shortened from all that sitting. As they go to kick the ball their lower back curls forward to bring their leg up as a way to create more movement. However if the compensation isn’t addressed, it could eventually lead to further back problems or a hamstring tear! All of this could be prevented with a little knowledge and time to look after you throughout the week.

So the next time you’re getting ready to play a couple of rounds of golf, kick the footy with mates or play that volley shot at the net. Take some time throughout the week to stretch and work on your mobility and your body will thank you for it. You’ll be more efficient, productive and be able to do a lot more!

Derek Thai – Elite Myotherapist