I know...I'm a fitness book author with a chapter dedicated to stretching, and I need to like stretching. But I don't.
I'm naturally tight. And stretching is just down right painful sometimes.
However, I said it in my book, and I'll repeat it again; if I had to choose only one form of exercise, it would be static stretching (the most difficult kind of stretching).
If you have a problem with stretching, then you and I have a lot in common. But, you must, you simply must, add stretching to you fitness training.
can get the job done in 10-minutes, 4 days a week, just don't miss
the many wonderful benefits of stretching.
Stretching will not release growth hormone
Stretching is not the kind of exercise that will release growth hormone, but it will prepare your body for the exercises that can.
if you don't have an appropriate stretching routine in your fitness
program, you may be risking injury every time you perform anaerobic
training like the Sprint 8 Workout, or weight-plyos.
Stretching can aid in reversing hardening of the arteries
Researchers show that prolonged stretching (in the form of yoga) with moderate aerobic exercise and diet control will reduce cholesterol and significantly reverse hardening of the arteries (20 percent regression) in adults with proven coronary atherosclerotic disease.
After one year in a yoga program, participants lost weight, reduced cholesterol, and improved their exercise capacity, (Retardation of coronary atherosclerosis with yoga lifestyle intervention, 2000, Manchanda).
you have time for yoga classes, or your martial arts training emphasizes
stretching, that's great. Keep it up! But if you're not attending
karate or yoga classes, then the 10-Minute Stretching Routine may
be for you.
New Research Reverses the rule
Coaches have instilled it into the minds of their athletes as long as anyone can remember - stretch before you workout or play a game, and the more the better.
While I always do the 10-Minute Stretching Routine prior to the Sprint 8 Workout for the warm-up benefit, new research totally reverses the pre-game philosophy of stretching.
Prolonged stretching (static stretching) slightly decreases strength for up to an hour after stretching by slightly impairing muscle activation. (Reduced strength after passive stretch of the human plantar flexors, 2000, Fowles).
let this research become a reason to not add the 10-Minute Stretching
Routine to your fitness plan. A complete stretching program to increase
flexibility is important - just not an hour before the big game.
Technique is Everything
Since warming up prior to anaerobic training is an absolute rule - never to be broken - stretching can be combined (multi-tasked) by using the 10-Minute Stretching Routine as your warm-up.
strategy is appropriate for the warm-up prior to training, but not
before the game or a key practice session. The goal of the warm-up
is to get the blood flowing and raise body temperature (one degree)
prior to high-intensity workouts and athletic competitions.
30 Second Stretch-hold Position
Gains in flexibility are dependent on the “duration” of stretching position, and the researchers show the best “stretch-hold position” is 30 seconds. (The effect of time on static stretch on the flexibility of the hamstring muscles, 1994, Bandy).
you need to slowly move into (and out of) the stretched-out
position and hold it 30 seconds. This is called static stretching
and is different from dynamic mobility stretching, the head rotations
type of stretching.
Examples of the stretch-hold position
The 10-Minute Stretching Routine has 5 stretching positions. Each position is performed on both legs. And each stretch-hold position should be held for 30-seconds.
The start position of the first stretching position, the hamstring stretch, is shown below. Reminder - always move in slow-motion when stretching to avoid injury.
Pull forward into the stretch-hold position.
During the 38 years that I've been involved in fitness training, I've noticed (here's my opinion and not backed by research) that stretching is unlike any other form of exercise. Most exercises provide positive results quickly. With stretching, it's like the body fights flexibility gains for the first few weeks. Then, between weeks four and six, the body stops resisting and agrees to increase flexibility.
So, if you've tried stretching before and didn't see results, hang in there. Stretching provides many wonderful benefits, even for the "naturally tight" like me.
Have a great day!
Campbell, M.S., M.A., FACHE
Chapter 6, Flexibility Fundamentals - Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness for Time-Crunched Adults
Order an autographed copy online - toll free - 1 (866) 565-3311
RECOMMEND THIS NEWSLETTER to friends, relatives and anyone interested in improving fitness click here.
RECEIVE THIS FREE
WANT TO CHANGE YOUR
E-MAIL ADDRESS, simply reply to this
TO DISCONTINUE receiving this newsletter, click here.
NOTE: The purpose of this newsletter is to expand thinking about fitness as an informational source for readers, and is not medical advice. Before attempting the Synergy Fitness program, the Sprint 8 Workout, or any high-intensity exercise program, consult your physician. This is not just a liability warning; it's wise to have a baseline medical exam before beginning a fitness program. Make your physician a partner in your fitness improvement plan.