Let's All Do What the Animals Do

Moving and lengthening your muscles is not only crucial to maintaining flexibility and muscle health, but it's also second nature to us as humans. However, animals don't stretch and they don't pull muscles and have repetitive strain syndromes. You may be thinking, "Hey, wait a minute. Yes, they do!" But... ...they actually don't. Here's what a stretch looks like:

static-stretch

Here's what animals do:

cat-stretching

What animals do is called pandiculation.  Add to that vigorous, daily, full body movement and you have a recipe for amazing health, agility, awareness, endurance, and strength.  Stretching, on the other hand, is a passive forcing of a muscle, often past the point of comfort. Pandiculation involves sets of muscles that would normally coordinate together, while stretching usually targets one set of muscles in isolation.

If you were to take your favorite stretches and pandiculate them instead, you would get a lot more bang for your buck. Try tightening the muscle you wish to lengthen, then slowly "yawn it out," as if you were just waking up in the morning. Then completely relax. Feels good, doesn't it?