Simple Stretching Routine

Discussion in 'Training Information' started by kuju, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. kuju

    kuju Top Contributor

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    Afternoon all!! :bounce:

    I've had a few requests now for a stretching routine I gave to Gem recently. So....here it is. Please understand it's a little rough and ready...i've re-edited it but it was done on request so I kind of threw it in between other stuff.


    The attachment has a complete, but BASIC, stretching routine - complete with pics or links where appropriate. If you have any questions...comments....or most importantly - corrections - then please post them in here (as opposed to PMs) so everyone benefits.

    I cannot overstate how useful and important stretching is for proper fucntioning; we do not lose flexibility in a uniform way - some areas will get less flexible than their counterparts on the other side of your body for instance. That leads to potentially painful imbalances.

    For instance...for a long time I had a severe imbalance in the IT bands. In day to day life this wasn't a huge issue. But when I threw a large pack and boots on and trekked off on a 250+ mile walk through spanish mountains....THEN it hurt! It caused my left foot to swing out laterally further than the right foot. That caused me to walk funny to compensate.....that in turn led to muscular imbalances..and eventually a world of pain when walking. Stretching fixed it.

    Those big balls of muscle are...to some degree...the result of the muscle shortening. But it's only habit that leaves them that way. Cut the muscle out and lay it on a table and it'll stretch out quite happily. Its not the tissue that causes it to bunch up like that as such...its more your nervous system. By progressively shortening ROM you teach the nervous system to "hold" a muscle in a smaller or tighter configuration.

    Stretching is about teaching your nervous system that it's "ok" to let the muscle stretch out further than it usually is. SO you take it to where it hurts...back off slightly so it just (only just) stops hurting and hold. Inside your muscle a spindle is sending signals to the brain that the muscle may be over-stretched...the muscle contracts to fight against the stretch. But eventually....the muscle has to relax. There's your stretch. DO it again. And again. Eventually....the point at which your nervous system starts to panic is a point that previously you couldn't even reach. Keep going and your muscles will be quite happy stretching out fully.


    Stretching helps ROM, muscle tone and function, recovery...the list goes on. It also highlights imbalances that will probably hurt you at some point.


    Key to good stretching:

    1. Relax and be patient. This takes a long time to really get anywhere (but its so worth it)
    2. Be consistent - stretch every time you train and stretch your whole body regardless of what you trained
    3. If you spot an imbalance in flexibility then fix it....that means one muscle is tighter than the other and that can lead to other problems
    4. Muscles that are particularly tense may need something more aggressive like trigger point work (basically...applying hard pressure to the point of most discomfort in a stiff muscle until it stops hurting - works incredibly well but it aint comfy!!)
    5. Breath out as you relax into the stretch
    6. Don't rattle through a routine quickly as though it's an add-on. If you're not going to do it properly then don't do it...it won't be worth it. "SOme effort" is NOT better than none at all. In fact a half hearted effeort could potentially hurt you as you'll likely do things wrong. Form is every bit as important here as anywhere else, if not more so.


    Errrrrrrr..........think that's it. Hope people like it - and I'm VERY open to criticisms!! (Constructive ones that is obviously...)
    :thumb:



    View attachment Full body stretching routine.pdf
     
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  2. gemc1981

    gemc1981 Competitor

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    Oh well its about bloody time.......

    Seriously folks this routine takes about 15 mins which is fuk all at the end of your work out - give it a go its good!

    Thanks Kuju :)
     
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  3. Chrisj22

    Chrisj22 Top Contributor

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    Nice one, cheers for this! :)
     
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  4. kuju

    kuju Top Contributor

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    You're very welcome :)
     
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  5. kingy

    kingy Top Contributor

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    awsome mate thanks
     
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  6. smurphy

    smurphy Top Contributor

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    Thank you for posting this
     
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  7. kuju

    kuju Top Contributor

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    My pleasure :D
     
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  8. maxie

    maxie Full Member

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    Yeah thanks for this my hams and delts are real tight at the minute,tried the delt stretch one side is a lot tighter than the other.
    Is it worth stretching on non training days ?
     
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  9. kuju

    kuju Top Contributor

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    Yes - definitely. I tend to do one long stretch session midweek and also do things like rotator cuff work and work on flexibility imbalances maybe 2-3 other times.

    Imbalances in flexibility impact on a wide range of things, but for our purposes some of the main things will be that it contributes to poor form, can limit the amount of weight used in a particular lift and can also potentially lead to muscle strains or similar injury as the body tries to compensate for reduced mobility on one side.

    So yes. It's woirth stretching as often as possible until you get an even balance. AFter that you can theoretically just strecth on training days. Personally I would do one other at least.
     
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  10. BaByYoYo

    BaByYoYo Full Member

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    Awesome - great post. Been looking for something like this for ages! :rockon:
     
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  11. Jim

    Jim 2x British Champ Competitor

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    I just do aggressive stretching on the muscle group that has been trained....
     
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  12. kuju

    kuju Top Contributor

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    You're welcome - hope it helps :)



    Hmmmm.........what exactly is "aggressive stretching"? I don't think those two words should EVER be in the same sentence! The problem with only focusing on teh muscle that has been trained is that you start to develop imbalances. Unless you are truly scrupulous about ensuring all mucles get hit more or less equally....but almost everyone isn't. Plus - if it's "arm day" for instance...how do you stretch? What are you trying to achieve?

    Whatever body part you work specifically - several other muscles will be involved and of course the fascia which covers your entire body. The fascia covering muscles in your shoulders is the same stuff that covers the soles of your feet....I don't just mean the same substance, I mean the same piece of tissue. So it's important to stretch EVERYTHING equally every time - you'll get much, much greater benefit from it.


    Speaking of which...I need to post up a vid of hand strengthening exercises...I'll dig it out today if I can. Well worth adding in, especially for advanced trainers.
     
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  13. kuju

    kuju Top Contributor

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    Here we go - the video is a bit cheesy but it's clear and well explained. Definitely a good exercise/stretch. This is particulrly good for anyone who needs strong grip outside of the gym....you don't want to end up with internal rotation on the inside of your forearm!!

     
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  14. gemc1981

    gemc1981 Competitor

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    @Simon could this be made a sticky in this part of the board? Seems a shame that new members might miss it if it isnt posted on for a while and so drops off - and a good stretching is essential to training, plus other members can add to it with exercises that help them?

    Just a thought :)
     
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  15. Simon

    Simon Moderator

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    Good idea, thread is now a sticky :thumb:
     
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