Stretching the mind with the body...
One reason why clients choose to have personal trainers is to develop self efficacy. Self-efficacy, the ability to perform or execute without the immediate guidance of a trainer. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misconceptions about why it is crucial to stretch or even know how to begin.
There is a synergy between proper breathing and controlled stretches that will promote fitness goals and overall health. After your fitness assessment, we would formulate a stretching prescription that is creative and customized for you. One that is specifically designed so you can immediately 'feel' the muscle tension being relieved along with guidance in diaphragmatic breathing. The prevention and gradual reduction of common ailments like low back and upper back pain can be achieved in and outside the gym. We encourage clients to stretch throughout their day. This will provide a mental break and alleviate the stagnation of a sedentary work day. What we teach in the gym is truly practical and applicable in everyday life (functional training).
Our clients work hard in the gym so we will give you tools to optimize your muscle recovery. This information is fundamental for effective training and is empowering. For example, when a workday becomes stressful you will have alternate options to decrease the stress. Even standing chest stretches or sitting torso twist can change ones perspective by bringing your attention to the present. As the time nears for your next session you would have begun the important process of behavior modification. End result will be increased blood circulation, flexibility, improvements in posture, mind body awareness and an appreciation for our balanced training program. This will carry over into your training sessions with better form, less fatigue and increased enthusiasm.
General progression for STATIC stretches: Is 8-10 large muscles, 3-5/week. Start with a 3-5 minute warm-up. Hold stretches between 10-30 seconds. We perform these before and after workouts. For your convenience, you can request your trainer to list all stretches on the workout sheet.
5 points to consider in your stretching regimen.
1. The purpose of the stretch... Is this based on your fitness assessment addressing weaknesses?
2. How effective is it? ..Check for elongation around the joints. Are you performing a valsalva movement (holding breath)?
3. Any pain? ... Joint pain from past injuries, stress points?
4 Can you isolate the muscle being stretched? Is a partner needed for PNF stretches?
5. Can this stretch be modified to accommodate your skill level?
There are other types of stretching techniques such as ballistic, active & passive, yoga, PNF to name a few. You can find an abundance of information on this topic from websites, librarie. Please check with your gyms to check if they are equipped with these vital tools. It promote the above mentioned benefits with enhanced muscle recovery e.g. SMR Foam Rollers. We can demystify the SMR foam roller and other equipment with its' relativity to your goals. Once again, we will give you information that makes a difference.
Our goal is to add incentive to continue to train, feel and witness results and solidify the importance of stretching in conjunction with a complete training program. That's our philosophy...enhance our client's day with a design for healthy living.
Julio A. Salado
Certified Personal Trainer
Assess, Initiate, Motivate