As you are training this week, think about how often, when and why you perform stretches.

Flexibility training should not just be a minor part of your training, it should be well planned and thought through.

As you may know or realise, you will become less flexible and struggle to perform the tasks you have previously taken for granted as you become older.

As joints become less mobile, the possibility of damaging tissues may also be increased.

Remember, too, that quality of life may be diminished if you neglect stretching while pushing your body through high-intensity and regular training.

Taking time to stretch is a good idea and will not only help maintain and improve mobility but reduce muscle soreness after heavy training, especially weight training.

Use the following stretches before and after you train.

To maximise their effectiveness, take your time and aim to relax the muscle being stretched.

Relaxation is key to a great stretch.

Exercise One: Adductor Stretch. Time: 10 seconds Start the stretch on one knee with the other leg straightened to the side of you.

Keep your back flat and hands placed in front of you.

The hands are used to support and make the stretch comfortable.

Keep the foot of the straightened leg on the floor.

Do not jerk the stretch, always stretch in a slow and controlled manner.

Exercise Two: Hanging Stretch. Time: 10 seconds Place your hands on a bar with an overhand grip. The stretch should be performed slowly and with control.

The stretch is great for the back (all) and shoulders (lower).

Make sure your feet are supported by the floor.

Paul's Tip: Do not neglect your stretching, whether it is sport specific or just general stretching for overall mobility.

You should aim to incorporate stretching into your training as a matter of course.

For personal training and health consultation, contact Paul Simmons and Prague 21 on 01273 595939 or 07970 686054 or email