Stretching: Before or After a workout
By: Melissa Doldron, RMT, SMT (cc), FST
As a Registered Massage Therapist and Fascial Stretch Therapist, the one thing I like talk to my clients about most is good STRETCHING. Most often people get out, get active, especially if it’s after a period of being sedentary…they are soooo sore after.
When I ask if they stretched, the answer….90% of the time…no.
When a person has shortened/tight muscles, pressure is exerted on the joints leading to decreased mobility. Muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments then receive insufficient nutrition, less oxygen and decreased blood circulation. This can lead to irritation and pain.
Improves ROM (range of motion)
General Rules for Stretching
When stretching, you’re moving the muscle opposite to its action
Move the stretch slowly, with your breath, no bouncing, to your level of comfort
Hold stretch until you feel some tension let go
If you ever feel pain, stop
Never stretch unstable or hypermobile structures
When to Stretch
Before a workout/competition, perform DYNAMIC stretching. After a short warm-up, Dynamic stretching involves more muscles and joints through a full range of motion. It best prepares your body for activity.
Examples: Forward hip swings, arm circles, shoulder shrugs, knee lifts, butt kickers, calf circles, active trunk rotation and side bends. Here’s a great link with video that shows dynamic stretching from Runners World.
After a workout/competition, you perform STATIC stretches. Isolate specific muscles that you have worked and hold a stretch until you feel a release of tightness. This is an awesome resource with photos that break down all major muscle areas and the proper way to stretch them from BodyBuilding.com
Stretching is an effective way to prevent muscle related problems and strain injuries. Add it to your daily routine to compliment your regular training.
To book an appointment with Melissa, go to www.thebodymindclinic.com