Does Your Routine Include Stretching?

At the root of all good workout programs is something we should be doing daily but more often than not we don't see it as an important part of our workout..... flexibility training!

With the increase of sedentary lifestyles, mainly caused by the increase of technology, the importance of flexibility is more important now than ever. Our body is designed to move and function in a particular way but repetitive motions and being sedentary have altered most peoples kinetic chain. Your kinetic chain is comprised of the muscular, skeletal and nervous systems. Each one of these systems plays an important role in your body and if one becomes misaligned then dysfunctional movement patterns develop, this is where most injuries occur. The beauty is it's never too late to start a flexibility routine. 

There are many benefits of starting a flexibility routine; Correcting muscle imbalances, increasing joint range of motion, decreasing excessive tension on muscles, relieving join stress, maintaining the normal length of all muscles, improving output power of the muscle and overall body motion function to just name a few. 

Self-Myofacial release uses a foam roll to apply gentle force to an adhesion (aka "a knot"). By applying pressure it stimulates the receptors in your muscle to relax allowing the muscle fibers to go from a bundled position to a straighter alignment. Imagine a rope with a knot in the middle of it. The rope is your muscle that is sore and misaligned. If you were to go straight into a static stretch (pull the rope tight) the knot would become tighter. Myo-facial release is going to massage that knot out before you ask your muscle to lengthen. 

Static stretching takes a muscle to the point of tension and then holding the stretch for 20-30 seconds. Holding the stretch for the proper amount of time is probably the most important part of static stretching. When you stretch a muscle it's reaction is to immediately tense up as a form of protection. When you maintain the stretch for the proper amount of time it allows the receptors in your muscle to realize they aren't in any danger of tearing and can relax. Once your muscle relaxes that's where real lengthening begins.

So now that you know the why, the benefits and two types of stretches, I encourage you to implement them into your daily routine. The beauty about increasing your flexibly is it can be done anywhere!