It’s good to be bendy! (Flexibility Training types & tips)

Admittedly, I tend to have to force myself to remember to take time to massage for recovery and also to take the time to stretch and practice flexibility for performance!

 
All of this play time deserves proper flexibility!

I know I’m not the only one who’s guilty of not remembering always to take the proper time for flexibility training. The importance of it, however, should be enough to remind us to stretch and bend so that we can perform even better down the road!

Let’s break down the different types of stretching that there are & some tidbits about them!  (these also move through a continuum as well)
 

SMR – Self Mayofascial Release or Foam Rolling. We know this guy, those of us who run and had to get to know foam rolling anyway. It’s not always the most run, but very effective. Here, we’re working to roll on a ‘knot’ or adhesion area for about 20-30 seconds to release that tension and smooth out the fascia in the muscle.
Static – Static stretching begins with limited to no body movement (better used after SMR or exercise first to warm up.) Standard static stretch examples are a standing hamstring stretch or quad stretch.
Active – These are moving stretches like butt kicks or moving adductor stretches where continuous movement occurs. Active stretches are also best after SMR and done in sets of 2 or more of 10 reps to prepare for aerobic activity.
Dynamic – Dynamic stretches involved moving muscles through a dynamic range of motion and should ONLY be used if training for power or for advanced athletes (i.e. training for plyometrics training.) Examples are standing leg kicks and vertical jumps.

For fuller and proper range of motion movement before exercise, particularly cardiovascular exercise with repetitive movement, Foam Rolling is best to get rid of adhesions in the muscles that need to be worked out – a.k.a. knots. Then, if you perform static, active, or dynamic stretches you are able to properly stretch those areas without injury.

Taking the time to work on flexibility before exercise can help to prepare the body for the stress about to be placed upon it (whether it’s through weights or cardio work) – whereas post-exercise flexibility movements help to get the body back to it’s ‘pre-exercise’ state before going about your business thereafter. (This also coincides with the Warmup and Cooldown)

The moral of the story: TAKE TIME TO STRETCH!

Why?

When working out  or preparing to workout, we’re taking our bodies in to various states of activity that can maneuver and adjust our muscles and tendons and ligaments past their normal range of motion or placement within the body. Preparing the body can make sure it’s warmed up and ready to go. Recovering properly with stretching can ensure you get yourself realigned and ‘thank’ your muscles for the hard work they’ve just exerted!

Do you take the appropriate time to stretch?
What types of stretching do you feel you need more of?

 

 


HI! I'M KAT - I am a pug-mom, wife, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, & Fitness Coach focusing on living the fit life while tackling work, coaching others - doing it all! My blog is to hold me accountable for all the goals I plan on accomplishing and also a way for me to try to inspire others through my own experiences - if I can do it ANYONE can! Fitness is a huge part of my life as well as travel and seeing all that life has to be lived! PAY IT FORWARD!

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21 Comments
  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 12:22 pm

    NO NO NO STRETCHING HERE for about…40 years 🙂
    I was super bendy by genetics and 100% relied on that.
    now, at 44, I tell everyone NOT TO BE ME 🙂

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 12:28 pm

    And it helps SO MUCH with recovery! My husband has found that two lacrosse balls taped together is the best for rolling out his back – has changed his life!!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 12:48 pm

    Great post Kat! I’ve always wondered what the differences were for each type of stretch. I definitely foam roll a ton! And I do a lot of static stretching. I try to make stretching and rolling part of my daily routine. It feels/hurts so good! 😉

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 12:58 pm

    I’m a firm believer in stretching. It’s a habit from my ballet days that has stuck with me. And I love to roll out. I know, crazy, but it’s fantastic 😉

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 2:05 pm

    I’m horrible at stretching, but trying to improve! I love how your broke down all the different types. I didn’t know that some of that was actually considered stretching (like butt kicks!).

    I will say, I’m good at using my foam roller, but that’s more out of necessity from the running, haha!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 2:57 pm

    I was religious about stretching when I marathon trained. This year with no marathon? Not so much. Need to get back to it!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 5:00 pm

    I’m really careful to stretch after my training runs. I also try to use my foam roller to work out the kinks. Yoga class is also good for stretching and flexibility!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 5:01 pm

    Ooooooooooh good info. I’m terrible at post-run (well, pre-run, too) stretching. I do try to do yoga and foam roll but I get pretty lazy about that.

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 5:51 pm

    I stretch faithfully after every run and every strength workout. What I need to do is more yoga!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 5:51 pm

    I have finally taken the time to foam roll after my runs. I also practice yoga twice a week to get in some extra stretches.

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 11:30 pm

    GREAT!! I stretch & from this almost 56 year old – young people are going to wish they started young cause even if you did like me – well, you still tighten up like crazy with age! Ya have to keep it up!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013, 11:48 pm

    I’m a stretch-lovah! Rather than sitting on the couch watching TV at night. I’m down on the floor rolling, stretching and multitasking whenever I can!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2013, 9:21 am

    The last time I stretched … now that’s a good question. 😉 I usually just throw on compression sleeves and them those work their magic. Needless to say, stretching (and foam rolling) and doing corework on a regular basis are two of my goals for the off-season. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 5, 2013, 1:18 pm

    I needed this reminder- I could definitely work on being more flexible!!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2013, 12:17 pm

    I’m learning to stretch more and more. And, go for massages!

  • Reply
    March 23, 2014, 3:34 am

    It is nice that you can be more flexible when you bend you body always.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2014, 2:04 pm

    I normally do the static stretching before workout, but didn’t knew these were classified in these categories. But thanks to your blog, now I know it!
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