Training Principles Part 6: Stretching
Book update: I am anticipating printing of the paperback and shipping to me arriving by 9/24. Electronic versions may be available sooner. I will update again soon.
Stretching, or you can call it mobility, has three uses for me, warm-up, cool down, and a separate yoga workout.
The first is during my warm-up process. I have a repeatable routine so that I remember all of my stretches. Creat one that works for you and modify it as you see fit.
I never stretch cold muscles, ligaments, or tendons. I bring my body up to a warm temperature by jogging, biking, or fast walking, then I stretch to get full range of motion of my joints. I like to think of my muscles as rubber bands. If I stretch a cold rubber band, it might break; a warm one is more flexible. When stretching for range of motion, I will hold a pose for about 10 seconds.
The second aspect of my stretching is after my cool down. The same routine but this time I will hold my poses for 30 seconds. The purpose of this kind of stretch is to increase flexibility, promote recovery, and prevent injury.
The third and last component is a workout designed just around stretching. Yoga is a great tool for me, so I try to do it weekly. Spending a whole hour stretching has benefits that go far beyond just flexibility, injury prevention, and range of motion. Yoga can help me open up the connection from my head to my heart, help me be mind-full and calm, and get re-charged and re-centered. When I look forward to yoga and miss it when I can’t seem to fit it in , then I know its benefits are beyond the obvious.
I also have a daily appiontment with my “stick” roller. By using my stick or some type of roller I can get to specific problem areas and work out soreness, promote circulation that helps recovery and increase flexibility immediately adjacent to joints. There is some new proof that “rolling” is better than stretching for increased flexibility. I am disciplined about doing all the above and it clearly works for me.
Next week is mental training.