Video game characters are so GamerFit with their constant movement and activity. They jump, run, squat, roll, punch, kick—it’s endless! The question is, how can you work your way to being just as active as a video game character? Before every game, characters always do one thing before getting on screen that you can easily copy to improve your workouts: stretch. Stretching is often skipped when exercising, but skipping stretching can be harmful. Read on to find out why video game characters stretch:
- Improves flexibility, therefore increasing your range in motion. Think of Samus Aran’s superior abilities in running, jumping, and physical combat. Samus would not be able to run, kick, and crouch as easily and as high as she does without stretching beforehand. The more you stretch, the better your performance in any activity.
- Helps improve posture by loosening tight muscles. Although Sonic has the ability to instantly curl his body into a ball, he has great posture no matter what. Stretching can help you stand as confident as Sonic after any workout!
- Decrease the risk of injury, because stretching warms-up and prepares muscles before heavily working on them. Imagine Cole Train having to stop and lay down in the middle of a war to relieve a leg strain. It’s impossible though, because Cole regularly stretches before going into battle!
- Increases blood and nutrient supply before intense workouts, which prevents muscle soreness. Have you ever seen Heihachi Mishima walking stiffly although he had leg day the day before? Never. Skip the muscle fever by stretching and having blood flowing throughout all your muscles.
Ideally, you want to loosen your body on a daily basis. However, stretching before and after your workouts is a great way to start. Stretch anywhere from your hands to your toes. Here’s a few stretches you can do right now or save for later:
- Hamstring Stretch
- While standing, bring your left foot a few inches in front of your right foot and lift your left toes.
- Slightly bend your right knee as you pull your abs gently inward.
- Lean forward from your hips, and rest both palms on top of your right thigh for balance and support. (You should be feeling the stretch in the back of your leg.)
- Repeat with your right leg.
- Arm Circles
- Stand up and extend your arms straight out by the sides.
- Slowly start to make circles of about 1 foot in diameter with each outstretched arm.
- Continue this circular motion for about ten seconds. Then repeat, going the opposite direction.
* You can do similar circle stretches with your wrists, ankles, and shoulders!
- Cat Stretch
- Start by having knees and palms on the floor.
- Allow your stomach and back to slightly drop down, then pull in and up rounding your spine, lower back, shoulders, and neck while letting your head drop.
- Hold position for 10 seconds and repeat.
- Standing Toe Touches
- Stand with some space in front and behind you.
- Bend at the waist, keeping your legs straight.
- Relax and let your upper body hang down in front of you naturally.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Upward Stretch
- Stand upright with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Extend both hands straight above your head with your palms touching.
- Slowly push your hands up and back, keeping your back straight.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
Written by: Amairani Aleman
Edited by: Emily Deaton
Don’t Just Be Fit. Be Gamer Fit.