There is always a lot of questions when it comes to stretching.
~ Excerpts from Sign On San Diego News
One thing that you will notice when going to a global gym or even new members at the Zone…. They come in the gym and before getting started, on cold muscles they start to do static stretching. What is Static stretching? Static stretching is used to stretch muscles while the body is at rest. It is composed of various techniques that gradually lengthen a muscle to an elongated position (to the point of discomfort) and hold that position for 30 seconds to two minutes (excerpt from Wikipedia.com), for example a standing quadriceps stretch. Am I talking about you??? Read on…
I am here to tell you that your high-school PE teacher didn’t know what he/she was talking about. Back in the day we would put ourselves in numerous uncomfortable straddles and toe touches before a workout to prevent injuries.
“Stretching (before exercise) could actually be counterproductive,” says Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for San Diego-based American Council on Exercise (ACE). “The static stretching approach (holding a stretch for an extended period) can have detrimental effects on your strength and muscular power if done before a sports activity, and you may end up having impaired abilities.”
Think of your muscles as being a rubber band per sae, if you stretch a muscle when it is cold, the muscle will not remain elongated, it will go right back to its original state.
Researchers are finding that a good active warm-up is a safer and more effective way to rev up the body for exercise. Instead of holding elongated limbs in a static stretch, spend about 10 minutes putting the body through the movements that you’re about to perform in your sport or activity. That is why we do the CrossFit warm-up, we take our body through a range of motion to warm-up the joint and get that synovial fluid pumping!
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has shown that this kind of a warm-up raises your heart rate and body temperature, and gets blood flowing and nerves firing to improve performance and prevent injuries. Before you start your workout, your heart rate should be up, joints are warm.
“From the feet to the fingertips, left to right and front to back, we want the entire body to be warmed up,” says Durkin who was the Personal Trainer, of the Year for both ACE and IDEA and regularly trains more than 25 NFL players, in addition to what he calls “regular Joes.” “We want to lengthen the fascia (connective tissue around the muscles) and elevate the core temperature as well as the tissue temperature. The goal is to prepare the body for the work that’s about to occur.”
“Performing the proper stretching at the proper time can help maintain flexibility and joint range of motion that will diminish over time as we age,” Bryant says. “We still need to do purposeful stretching, but it’s (safest) to stretch during the cool-down (after activity) period because the muscles and tissues are warm.”
The problem with old-school pre-workout static stretching of cold, tight muscles and tissues is that it produces microscopic tears of muscle fibers and does nothing to prevent injury, according to the CDC study. Research from the University of Sydney showed that stretching before exercise doesn’t eliminate muscle soreness or prevent sports injuries, and University of Nevada researchers found that long, static stretching can actually decrease strength, power and performance.
“Static stretching done before an activity or competition can decrease performance because it’s not activating the nervous system,” Durkin says.
This new approach to stretching doesn’t mean that’s it’s a bad thing, fitness trainers say. Stretching, especially as we get older, should be a fundamental part of any fitness regimen.
“Don’t throw out stretching. It can improve posture, flexibility and help with body awareness. It can also be an effective stress reliever,” Bryant says. “You just have to know when to do it and how best to do it.”
The following tips can help make your stretching routine safe and effective:
- Make sure your body and muscles are warmed up before performing any static stretching.
- Stretch to the point of mild discomfort or a slight pulling sensation. There should be no pain.
- Move slowly. Don’t rush the stretch.
- Remember to breathe while stretching, because oxygen is vital to muscular function.
- Hold a static stretch between 15 and 30 seconds, until the muscle relaxes slightly.
- Don’t worry about how flexible you are. It’s not a competition. Everyone is different.
- Don’t bounce during a stretch. This ballistic stretching is risky, because it can cause small tears in your muscle, leaving scar tissue that tightens muscles and reduces flexibility.
~ R.J. Ignelzi
PLEASE NOTE: The Motivational seminar is held tonight @ 6:30pm put on by Rob MacKay and Donald Peterson. Due to the seminar, the 6:30pm class will be cancelled.
Buy In – Muscle up practice! Time for some more muscle up PR’s!
WOD – “Twisted Magic 8 Ball”
- 8 Thrusters (65/95)
- 8 Ring Pushups
- 8 Double unders
Zone 3: Scale thruster to 55/75
Zone 2: Scale thruster to 45/65, modified ring pushups, sub 4:1 singles for double unders if needed.
Zone 1: Scale thruster as needed, scale ring pushups to regular pushups, scale double unders to 4:1 singles. Complete 4-6 rounds.
Cash Out –5 x 100M rowing sprints, take turns on the rowers. Yup, it is rowing week 🙂
25 to 35 min tempo or hill run or rest day
Please post in the comments when and where you are doing your run if you would like people to join you!
100 Day Burpee Challenge:
Burpees today: 87