Chronic stretching aims to decrease injury and increase performance by increasing the compliance of the muscle and therefore reducing the energy needed to move the limb.
Human movement is dependent on the amount of range of motion (ROM) available in synovial joints. In general, ROM may be limited by 2 anatomical entities: joints and muscles.
Obviously, there are many factors and reasons for reduced joint ROM, only one of which is muscular tightness. Muscle “tightness” results from an increase in tension from active (any sporting activity) or passive (prolonged sitting down) mechanisms.
Speaking of active mechanisms, we damage and shorten our muscles in every training session, and hence it is paramount that we stretch out! When the muscle is shortened, it cannot produce a truly forceful movement.
Watch this video and learn why:
A cronically shortened muscle will eventually lead to an injury.
♥ STRETCHING ♥
There are various muscle stretching techniques, but the ones that I’m interested in for my weightlifting club are the STATIC stretches; you all know them, as we do these at the end of all our training sessions.
I hope that when you are training outside of my coaching hours, you are still stretching.
How often and how long?
Four times a week, for anything between 20 minutes to half an hour…
Is that really such a big deal? Well, I don’t think it is!
The benefits so outweigh the risks. Even if 15 minutes had to be spent at the end of the training session, it is all SO worth it. Muscular elasticity can be acquired, even if you are “stiff as a board”!
Here are the stretches that I strongly recommend and I suggest you stretch large muscle groups before small ones, i.e. stretch from feet up towards the head.
Back and Abdominals stretches
Shoulders and Arms stretches