Sunday, January 23, 2011

Read this before you STRETCH 

Warm muscles, tendons, and ligaments are more flexible and stretch more easily; stretching cold muscles can cause tears. If you have been following my blogs you’ll know that I have quoted Jillian Michaels as saying you should conclude your workouts with a stretching routine.

Light stretching can be done to start the routine; but only AFTER you have warmed up. Warm up routines that utilize several body parts are better than those that focus on just one or two body parts.
Stretching can also be done in between weight lifting sets.
  • Stretches should always be gradual and gentle. Don’t rush through the stretching routine.  Stretch only to the point of resistance; if the stretch hurts, you’re pushing too hard. There should be mild tension; not pain.
  • Hold each stretch in a static position for 10 to 30 seconds, allowing the muscle to lengthen slowly. Do not bounce; bouncing actually causes muscle fibers to shorten, not lengthen.
  • BREATHE!  Exhale as you go into the stretch.  Do not hold your breath.

The site below contains an excellent description including a picture of 54 different stretches. 
Below is my list of twelve (12)

                        Neck*                          Lateral Neck Flexion Stretch
                        Shoulder*                   Posterior shoulder stretch
                        Chest  *                       Chest Stretch
                        Triceps*                     Triceps Stretch
                        Abdomen                   Abdominal Stretch II
                        Back                           Lower Back Stretch
                        Back*                          Side Stretch
                        Hip                             Gluteus Maximus Stretch
                        Hip                              Piriformis Stretch
                        Thigh*                        Quadriceps stretch
                        Thigh  (hamstrings)Sitting hamstrings stretch
                        Calf                             Gastrocnemius stretch 
                        Foot                                     Plantar fascia stretch

Feel free to do any you like – but make sure you do at least one for each body part.  Some of them (marked with an asterisk) can be done in between weight lifting sets.

For more useful info, visit:


And, as always you are invited to learn these from our own professional, Fernando: Tuesday at 10:15am, Thursday at 9:15am and 7:15pm, and Friday at 6:15pm.


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