Flexibility is muscle stretch and mobility is the effect upon the joint(s) that muscle is connected to. In the old school method of working out, deep stretching was recommended before a workout. Over the past 10 years the thinking on this has evolved considerably. Exercise science studies have revealed that the body does not respond well to deep stretching when the muscles are cold. When we stretch too deeply with cold muscles we pull at the origin and insertion of the muscles. This puts the body at risk for muscular strains and pulls.
The body stores blood in the stomach and kidneys when we are at rest. When we begin to move dynamically, the blood is diverted to the muscles. This “warms” the muscles up so that stretch after a workout becomes the key to permanently elongating the muscle so that we have more mobility at the joint. A dynamic warm up is important to employ before we practice mobility. Think knee grabs, ankle grabs, calf raises, cross ups, hip circles, gentle butt kickers. Think gentle movement at the joint.
Mobility should be a proactive approach, not a reactive one. In other words, don’t wait until problems arise before you address them!
Soft tissue work is also known as myofascial release. It is the work we do with our foam rollers and lacross balls. This work can be done before or after a workout, but the muscles must be warm. See the Gumsaba soft tissue release videos HERE.
Stretching is important because we can actually lengthen the muscle fibers with stretching allowing for more mobility at the joint. Stretching is what we do at yoga class. The muscles must be warm to prevent injury with static stretching. With this technique, it is important to ENTER THE STRETCH GRADUALLY then hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds to one minute. You want to start with a slight feeling of stretch and allow the body to adjust, pushing the stretch further over the 30 seconds to one minute so that by the end of the minute you would be in the deepest position. This method will actually make a permanent change in the length of the tissue.
Remember, mobility must be pro active. Don’t stop their mobility training when your injury subsides. Stick with it through the good times and the not so good times and your highs and lows will start to even out. You work hard at camp, so keep those muscles supple and you will get a lot more great workouts out of them!
Gumsaba Boot Camp Class schedule Tuesday 3/18/14:
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Womens only class – Coach Michelle – TRX Full Body
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Mens only class – Coach Allen
6AM Sunup Walnut Creek Co-Ed class – Coach Matt – 21/15/9 Strength Sets
9AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Womens only class – Coach Michelle – TRX Full Body