It is coming up on Spring and everyone is getting that itch for a healthier lifestyle and getting back to the gym. Although, we want to keep in shape we need to get healthy the right way and always remember to stretch before and after our workouts. Here are a few tips for stretching and your workouts:
Always remember to breathe through your stretching and workout. Breath holding does not help through the pain. It’s just a natural response to it. Breathing is key to achieving your exercise goals and is necessary for a workout to be successful.
“Ballistic stretching” is a form of passive stretching or dynamic stretching in a rhythmic motion. It involves moderately paced rhythmic movements ie: swinging arms gently through self-hugs into spread open arms, shaking legs or arms out and rotating the neck softly.
Ballistic stretching is used to encourage further ROM and increase blood flow into the limbs. No bouncing or sharp movements are necessary, just rhythmic soft movement through your available ROM. Always remember to not “snap” into the extended motions, just soft gentle and rhythmic movements will get you the results you are looking for.
It is never necessary to hurt yourself in any stretch. If pain occurs you are pushing it too far. Stretching is used to increase your muscle length and strength as well as muscle health pre and post (and sometimes during) exercise.
“Static Stretching” is stretching in a secure, stable position and lengthening the muscle to its furthest but still comfortable position and holding for 30 seconds or more. 30 seconds is the minimum because that is when the muscle realizes its new position and let’s go into it. Anything less will be unsuccessful and the muscle will not fully release.
When holding a static stretch, if you feel able to comfortably push into a further stretch do so but remember comfort is key, and not to push yourself too far. I would suggest you restart your 30 second count down if you do this.
It is never a good thing to stretch cold muscles. Make sure to have a five minute warm up and cool down before and after workouts to prevent having more aches and pains then necessary, as well as injuries become more likely if you don’t.
Stretching after your morning or evening shower is also a good way to lengthen and relax the muscles with the comfort of heat, especially when injury or discomfort has occurred.
Remember to stay fit and have fun this spring but most of all stay healthy! For more tips or info feel free to contact me at Bamboo or through my twitter account found at Frankie Jimenez RMT @Frankiermt
Frankie Jimenez, RMT