Do You Even Stretch?
Do you stretch with a purpose?
Or do you just stretch for the sake of stretching?
Sure, you have mobilized some. Pulling your leg behind you until you feel a strain on your quads, or kicking your leg up on a bench and leaning into it before a run. Real stretching is not part of a warm-up or cool-down though, real stretching is work. Sweaty, dizzying, (occasionally) nauseating work.
Let’s clarify one point before we get too far. When I talk about stretching (with a purpose), I am talking about actively working to increase your range of motion and your flexibility, with the intention of achieving long lasting and even permanent gains in range of motion. For most exercisers this is the biggest hole in their game.
I came across these Rules for Stretching a couple years ago from, Pavel Tsatsouline. It is SSS.
- Use Strength
- Find Space
- Spread the Load
When you want to REALLY improve your flexibility these rules are a great start to help you Stretch with a Purpose.
Real flexibility or mobility you have STRENGTH at an end range. You aren’t tight you are weak. Flexibility is the ability to flex… Or to extend, not to stretch. If you are able to generate force at your available end ranges of motion then flexibility will happen naturally.
Objective #2 is to pry and move your body into the position to find more space into the joint. Trying to loosen up the fascia (a fiber sheet along the muscle).
(Think about pulling a post out of the ground. Just trying to pull it out on your own is darn near impossible. But when you shake the post and create a little space you you loosen the area and can pull it out a little. You then again, pry and loosen the post to create more space, and then pull a little more. Repeating until you create enough space to loosen it to pull the post out of the ground.)
Spread the Load
When you are ‘stretching’ don’t just try stay in one place. Be actively working (just like using your strength and finding space) to find and activate all the areas and inner working of the muscles, nervous system, tendons and joints. Think about spreading the load (activation) in a 360 degree manor. Your muscles and fascia are intertwined and interconnected in all different angles. When you can stimulate, activate and loosen your results will come much faster.
The O-Board Says…
Death by Power Cleans
50m Walking Lunges
Post by Chris; follow me on snapchat; mr_cpm