INCREASING PERFORMANCE THROUGH STRETCHING

By Andy on November 11, 2015

We often receive this question from our members at Iconic Fitness, Dubai Marina;  ‘Does it matter when I’m stretching? ’ So today we will look at dynamic stretching which is preferably done at the start of the workout.

Dynamic stretches involve movements that resemble the actions and exercises one would perform during the workout session. We can also refer to this as ‘active stretching’.

The joint isn’t challenged to a point far beyond what the client is capable of achieving. This means that when done safely and properly there is no ‘over-stretching’ being done and thus no power, speed, and strength loss. Yes, that’s right – over stretching can lead to strength, power, and speed loss. This occurs usually when engaging in static stretching (more about that in the next article).

We can measure the number of dynamic stretches by counting the repetitions done per stretch. An optimal range would be 15-20 reps per joint routine.

Dynamic stretching benefits us in the following ways:

  • Increases blood flow – this improves reaction time, improved recovery between sets and reps, and improved training time so that you can achieve your goals sooner. This also removal of waste products generated by training and lifestyle are also improved.  Dynamic stretching can increase exercise-assisted hormones in building muscle and utilizing energy from fat which can, in turn, promote glycogen sparing to increase performance.
  • Warms up a whole group of muscles – Most dynamic stretches are done in a standing up position, this engages the core as you need to maintain your balance with other synergistic / assisting muscles. This saves time and enables the body to warm up effectively much quicker. A standing leg swing is a good example – by kicking the leg back, you activate the gluteus, hamstrings and also stretch the hip flexors.
  • Increase proprioception – your body’s ability to react to the tension placed on your body by the surrounding environment. As you engage in regular dynamic stretches your body’s ability to adapt to the strains will improve, so will your coordination. As this skill improves, more and more stimuli are needed to increase improvements. That’s why we take so much please in continuously changing your warm-up and intensity of your program

Next week we will take a closer look at some excellent dynamic warm-up routines and examples to improve your mobility and training.

Coach Hannes

Iconic Fitness, Dubai Marina

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