August 12, 2013

Stretching. It’s not 1970!

Stretching. It’s not 1970!

 

Let’s once and for all put the stretching debate to bed. Does static stretching before exercise have any benefits?

The answer is a definitive, no! 

It’s not 1970; exercise has come a long way since bell bottoms and leisure suits. In fact, static stretching before exercise can actually decrease your muscles’ strength and result in the loss of explosive, dynamic performance — the kind that’s necessary for quick bursts of force or directional change.

A warm up should improve muscle performance, not worsen it. What is our suggestion? Start off every session with a warm up designed to awake, strengthen, and engage your muscles (all of which leads to fat burning). How do you do this? Use dynamic movements! Try for example; broad jumps, interval sprints ranging from light to medium intensity, punches and kicks, and our favorite “shrimping”. Get the most out of your workout starting with your warm up!

This is a ‘pet peeve’ of many of our instructors.  Students walk onto the mat and just sit down and start stretching.  Please stop.  Do some jumping jacks, jog, shrimp, break falls, ANYTHING to get the blood flowing a bit.  Even though it maybe warm in the gym you need to get your muscles warmed up.

Again when in doubt look to your instructors for some help.  If you are not sure what to do then please ask.  But remember all of our classes start with a good warm up that is designed to get the body ready for a great workout.  So if you are not sure what to do to get warmed up on your own then simply just do one of the warm ups that we did in class that week.