People Who Aren't Flexible Always Deal With These 6 Struggles When They Work Out
If you love to workout out on the reg, you probably savor the rush of feel-good endorphins and good vibes that your daily sweat sesh provides you with. But, as good as hitting the gym may make you feel, it's what comes after the workout that is totally cringe worthy for some. People who aren't flexible literally dread setting time aside for that post-workout stretch — because as important as it is to keep your muscles happy and injury free, it's honestly just painful AF (and you try to weasel your way out of it as often as possible, let's be real).
The thing is, as much as you try to convince yourself it's not, stretching is a pretty imperative part to working out. According to Harvard Health, maintaining some degree of flexibility through stretching keeps your muscles strong, healthy, and able to carry you through challenging exercise sessions with ease. Without consistent stretching, however, the muscles become tight and shortened which puts you at a risk of pesky strains and injuries. Not a fun time, friends.
Now, all of this doesn't mean you need to be able to touch your toes on demand or have the ability to contort yourself into the equivalent of a human pretzel — not at all. But inflexible peeps shy away from even the mere thought of a low key hamstring or hip flexor stretch after a run. Trust me, you guys, I know. I, too, have been a ~stretching hater~ myself in a past life.
If you consider yourself inflexible, you probably deal with these six things all the time when you workout. But at least you can complain about them with your other non-flexible friends: stretching haters, unite.
1. Convincing Yourself To Set Aside Time To Stretch
So, you just got through a killer workout, you're dripping with sweat, and all you want to do is chug an ice cold bottle of water and get home to belly flop on your couch ASAP. But, nah — you have to stretch.
"Why do bad things happen to good people?" you probably start thinking to yourself, totally un-dramatically. TBH, some days you can amp yourself up and re-wire your brain to think that stretching your muscles is actually kind of fun, but most days you just have to sulk your way over to the ab mats and begrudgingly make your way through some standard stretches. It is worth it in the long run, though.
2. Or Trying To Stretch When Your Muscles Aren't Warm
If you've ever tried to go into stretching cold, without any warm-up, you know the damn struggle of feeling like you're legit going to pass away. How are people naturally flexible? Honestly, you feel like the equivalent to a metal rod when it comes to bend-ability.
Harris H. McIlwain, Rheumatology MD told ShareCare that it's important to warm up your muscles before you stretch so that you don't shock them with spontaneous stretchiness, especially for inflexible peeps.
Think of your muscles like chewing gum. If you tried to stretch a piece of minty Trident before you chewed it (aka "warmed it up") that bad boy would break in two. Real talk: that's how inflexible people's muscles feel without a warm-up.
3. Attempting Any Exercise That Entails "Toe Touches"
You better believe that you'll be skipping over the part of any ab circuit that contains something like "toe touch crunches." WTF is that nonsense? You firmly believe that touching your toes is a myth that only extra terrestrial beings can achieve. And honestly, you're totally content with your fingertips never making contact with your feet.
4. Trying To Pretend You Actually Like Yoga When Your BFF Invites You To Class
As much as you love your BFF, you deeply wonder when she's ever going to get the hint to stop inviting you to yoga. No matter how hard you try, you will never find it in yourself enjoy an hour of working towards greater flexibility.
But, you do suck it up and go because you adore her — and maybe somewhere down the line you even begin mildly enjoying yourself ('cause you actually totally don't need to be flexible to do yoga!)
5. Comparing Your Bendiness To Instagram Acrobats
I don't know about you guys, but whenever I log onto Insta nowadays, it seems like there's always someone contorting themselves into some pose that's reminiscent of Cirque Du Soleil. If you're inflexible AF, you might gawk at these impressive poses and loudly chuckle at the thought of ever striking a pretzel-y, bendy stretch post-workout.
Honestly, you're content with your standard fitness goals like smashing your running PR or lifting a couple pounds heavier than last week. You'll let the pros stick to putting their leg behind their head.
6. Or Comparing Yourself To... Yourself
It can also be easy to compare yourself to yourself when you're setting aside time to stretch post-workout. But, on the real, your muscles change every day — and just because you could bend with a bit more ease yesterday doesn't mean that you should force your body past your limits today.
Listen to your bod and honor all the things it can do for you. You kick ass, girlfriend — with flexibility or without!