Stretching Exercises, Flexability and Active Recovery
- Keep your back straight and head up whenever you are stretching forward
- Always breathe out, exhale, as you go into a stretch
- Hold stretching position for at least 10 seconds and avoid bouncing
- Take caution not to over stretch and listen to your body
- Focus on muscle being stretched
- Maintain good posture
- Stretch after warmup or training to ensure a good elevated core body temperature
Maintaining a certain level of flexibility is very important in living active and healthy.
Good Flexibility reflects the joints ability to move in their full range of motion comfortably without pain. This is the interrelationship between muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, and the joint itself.
It is very important as one becomes increasingly flexible to strengthen the muscles supporting that joint. This will lead to stronger more mobile joints with much less pain or potential to injury. Stretching can be effective in reducing the amount of post-workout muscle soreness
As we get older, things tend to tighten up and we need to work on our flexibility to decrease risk injuries and increase mobility. Extended periods of sitting can cause shortening of the muscles. Hot room stretching or stretching with increased body temperature after training helps facilitate increases in range of motion. Flexibility is easier to achieve in these type of conditions as well. As one warms up the body’s lubricating fluids of the joints become less viscous and allows for stretching or lengthening beneficially.
Types of Stretching
Static Stretching – is slow stretch to a maximum range of motion with a pause and hold that is “static,” or not moving. Typical holds for this type of stretching are 10-60 seconds. This type of stretching is recommended after training has ended and there is elevated core body temperature.
Dynamic Stretching – is swinging stretches in a controlled manner. There are various methods for the upper and lower body. This type of stretching is recommended pre-workout as it is safer than static stretching at this time.
What is “Active Recovery?” Active Recovery is the action taken during rest from training. Relaxing non-intense movement or activities on the off days. Active recovery should supplement training days but should not replace them. Recovery is an important component in the HealthyWNY “Core of Health.”
Listed are many benefits of active recovery.
- Improved daily attitude
- Diminished aches and pains
- Better sex
- Improved Sleep
- Continued shaping and toning of the body
- Reduced stress
- Increased enjoyment of life!
- Faster muscle recovery
Some fun and highly recommended examples are listed below.
- Tai Chi
- Hiking or taking a relaxing bike ride
- Stretching or foam rolling muscles