The Ultimate Guide to Stretching and Why it Matters!

Hey #SFB tribe! πŸ‘‹πŸΌπŸ‘‹πŸΌ



So before you begin any type of exercise program you probably already know that warming up is something you should do and FYI warming up is also the same thing as movement prep.

This is basically to prep your body for the movements you’ll be doing during your workout and stretching plays a huge role in movement prep.

Movement prep that includes active and dynamic stretching prepares your body by boosting blood flow to your muscles, activating your central nervous system preparing if for the mind-muscle connection (yes, that’s a real thing) and enhancing your strength and endurance.

Active stretching at the end of a workout also has a host of benefits for that bod of yours. This kind of stretching helps with recovery and muscle soreness but increases injury if too much is done at the beginning of a session.

Movement Prep Basics

Can include specific exercises to assist in the improvement of movement efficiency includes:
flexibility
core
balance
plyometric
speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ)

For the purposes of this post, we are going to focus on stretching which literally falls into each of the categories mentioned above.

The Ultimate Guide to Stretching

See what stretching really does is more than just improve flexibility it also corrects:

Muscle imbalances
Increases range of motion
Decrease muscle soreness
Maintain functionality of our muscles
Now the interesting thing to understand about stretching is that there are different type of stretches and there’s a method behind the madness.

Types Of Stretches

SMR
Self-Myofascial Release also known as “foam rolling” Applying your body weight to apply pressure to the “knots” in your body. Do this for 30 seconds to relax and stretch out the muscle

Static Stretch
Most common stretch style because most people have muscle imbalances. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
Examples:
Side Bend
Hamstring Stretch

Active Stretch
Moves limbs through a full range of motion.
Stretch is held for 15 seconds at the end of the range of motion and then relaxed for a certain number of reps.
Examples:
Low Lunges x 8 reps
Down Dog Extension x 4 reps

Dynamic Stretch
Requires control through a full range of motion
Faster and higher speeds
No holding the position like traditional stretching
Examples:
Bodyweight Squats
Walking Lunges

The last two types of stretching are usually reserved for people who are in a better-conditioned state meaning they might just be a little more advanced in the gym but that shouldn’t stop you from trying some active and dynamic stretches!

Next time you hit the gym or take a group fitness class keep a few of these tips in mind:

If your fitness instructor starts the class with a movement prep sequence that includes mostly active and dynamic stretches, in the beginning, YOU’VE FOUND SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE DOING!

Meaning, if you’re breaking a light sweat at the end of the warm-up you’ve done yourself and your body well!




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