Hey guys, my name is Joe and I’m a certified personal trainer and an Instructor at Fitness Squad UK. I’m going to give you the low down on flexibility/stretching and the benefits of keeping those muscles flexible/supple and also dispel a few common myths and apparent pros and cons.
1) So first things first, why do we stretch and how does it benefit us? Keeping flexible and stretching is key to ANY fitness program for multiple reasons and for me first and foremost is injury prevention! Guys, have you ever sat and thought about how many reps you smash out or to be more exact how many times your muscles contract during boot camp…. A SHED LOAD 🙂 and for all that muscle contraction (or a cheeky flex in the mirror) that muscle has to be stretched off or we end up with tight muscles that can literally ping and injure with even a slight loss of form on any given exercise, boooooo!!!
2) R.O.M. you may recognise that abbreviation better as ‘range of motion’ when you have an Instructors voice ringing in your ears. Without frequent stretching to keep ourselves flexible we lose our R.O.M. and become so tight that even the simplest of exercises become a problem. Muscles can become so tight that it restricts our movement which in turn can affect our posture which as we all know can lead to all sorts of trouble….. again, boooooo!!!
3) We’ve all woken up after a tough workout the previous day and felt those muscles screaming at us right? Well this can be helped with a good stretch post session. When we train our muscles fill with lactic acid! That’s the burning sensation when you lose the will to live but you still have 5 more reps to go, well stretching off those hard earned muscles after training helps clear the fibres of the acid build up and lets oxygen pour back in to help those muscles recover a lot quicker which hopefully will help soothe those aches at the crack of dawn.
“I’ve heard if you’re really flexible you have more chance of dislocation” Guys weak supporting muscles and ligaments are the root cause of dislocations NOT supple muscles so stretch away, and for you guys that are super flexible don’t panic 🙂
“You should stretch BEFORE you exercise” stretching muscles that have not been warmed up can be a dangerous game although it does have its place in more sport specific training, as a rule of thumb just after training or during exercise is fine.
Now I’ve been in the fitness game along time and can openly admit that flexibility can very much be at the back of my mind especially after a tough session when all I want to do is rest and get some protein in! But as you guys all know we ALWAYS end the session with a good stretch off! As a fitness Instructor, I always take the time to stretch myself as well as my clients after a tough session and aim to keep us as flexible as possible. So to round up the benefits of keeping ourselves flexible and looking after those ever important muscles here are some bullet points to keep you on track if you ever want to escape the post workout stretch off 😉
- Injury prevention.
- Increased R.O.M. (Range of motion)
- Increased recovery time
- Improved posture
- Better overall performance
Remember at Fitness Squad UK, we have a certified team of Instructors so if you have any questions regarding your own flexibility and ways to improve it then give us a shout. Keep doing what you do best Squad and stay supple.