ExRx.net

Exercise Prescription on the Net
It is currently Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:21 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:03 pm 
Offline
Rookie
Rookie

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:38 pm
Posts: 29
I have to sit in a chair a lot during the day and so my muscles begin to cramp and my whole body begins to feel stiff overall. I'm going to be heading back to the gym soon so I would like a way to stay limber throughout the week since I spend so many hours sitting down. I would like to improve my flexibility a little bit but I think stretching more often will also help my aching muscles, in addition to keeping me healthy. Does it make sense to stretch after a workout? I feel like this would be hard to do since stretching requires deep and slow breaths while relaxing your muscles to stretch. Also, how do you know what to stretch-my muscles never feel noticeably tight immediately after lifting (and shouldn't we focus on the problem areas...?). My other idea was to do a few dynamic exercises in my apartment so that I wouldn't stretch "cold" but I don't know any sort of rule-of-thumb for how many to do or for how long before I start stretching. Any ideas to get me started on stretching safely?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:56 am 
Offline
Advanced Member
Advanced Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:40 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: Lapland, Finland
1) Perform dynamic stretching as a warm-up to your workout. Hip flexors and Hamstrings are the most important muscles to get going. But stretch whatever feels extra tight. Doing short, dynamic stretches will not alter your power production but will get you more mobile for the workout. Every stretch lasts only a couple of seconds, and you should do somewhere around 5-10 reps of each. Try these before your workout for example (you can add whatever you like to this routine):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5_14SfX9Is

2) I don't like to stretch rigth after a workout, but some people do. Static stretching works done in the evening or morning without a workout as well. It goes by watching tv or some stuff like that. Static stretches are usually somewhere around 10-60 seconds long. Again, stretch your inflexible parts. There's not any rule of thumb to this. There's no need for warm-up on static stretches. Just don't go ripping straight away, start slowly and don't stretch to pain. Uncomfort is alright.

3) Consider Foam rolling or other SMR technique. Roll a tennis ball around your glutes, hip flexors, calves and hamstrings.

If you sit 8 hours straigth or something like that, consider keeping short brakes to quickly do a couple of standing dynamic stretches. Like toe touches and hip flexor stretches. Or do this whenever you get off your seat.

_________________
Physical Preparedness Coach
Co-Owner of UniFit Oy.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:17 pm 
Offline
Rookie
Rookie

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:38 pm
Posts: 29
1) I usually do a more formal warm-up with the weight exercises I'm performing that day (50% workout weight, around 12 reps, etc.). Is there an added benefit to dynamic stretching in addition to that? I thought they served the same purpose.

2) Mayo Clinic says stretching without "warm" muscles may lead to injury. Mayo Clinic recommends a light jog or some light activity and then stretch (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretc ... iongroup=2). This is why I wondered if some assortment of dynamic exercises beforehand would fulfill as a muscle "warm up." Anyway, I think static stretching is mostly what I'm leaning toward, like you said just something to do during tv commercials and stuff.

3) I've considered foam rolling but I just haven't gotten around to try it yet. Are the benefits of foam rolling scientifically proven yet? I don't know much about it I guess.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:51 pm 
Offline
Advanced Member
Advanced Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:40 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: Lapland, Finland
Adrx wrote:
1) I usually do a more formal warm-up with the weight exercises I'm performing that day (50% workout weight, around 12 reps, etc.). Is there an added benefit to dynamic stretching in addition to that? I thought they served the same purpose.
That's good, and you should continue doing that. Here's what I'd recommend:
1: General Warm-up (5- minutes). Jogging, riding a bike or something like that.
2: Dynamic Stretching. (Several exercises to asses stiff and inflexible parts and muscles. Also to prepare for work
3: Exercise warm-up. This is the exercise-specific warm-up you already use. It is more to grease the groove and get the nervous system tracking. If 2 and 3 served the same purpouse, you wouldn't have a problem, rigth? If warm-up reps are mobility training, you shouldn't be doing that exercise heavily loaded.

Quote:
2) Mayo Clinic says stretching without "warm" muscles may lead to injury. Mayo Clinic recommends a light jog or some light activity and then stretch (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretc ... iongroup=2). This is why I wondered if some assortment of dynamic exercises beforehand would fulfill as a muscle "warm up." Anyway, I think static stretching is mostly what I'm leaning toward, like you said just something to do during tv commercials and stuff.
Okay, it's a general guideline and I say it's good when used before exercising. BUT I wouldn't stres about it when doing static stretches at home(!). It's supposed to be more relaxing and loosening, you shouldn't need to rise your pulse or body temperature to stretch. Unless you live in an igloo. Just go easy first, and stretch more when the muscle starts to loosen and be "less cold". Dynamic Stretches could always use a warm-up before, altough I sometimes pass it. Haven't been injured yet.

Quote:
3) I've considered foam rolling but I just haven't gotten around to try it yet. Are the benefits of foam rolling scientifically proven yet? I don't know much about it I guess.
Not too much. It's more of a "it works for me" kind of thing. Here is an article on scientific evidence on Foam Rolling:
http://strongerrunner.blogspot.fi/2012/ ... o-far.html

But, try this:
Roll a tennis ball under your left foot. For 90s or so. Just roll it around all over there with enough pressure. Then, do a toe touch. The side you just rolled should be way more flexible. That's why I believe in foam rolling and SMR in general.

_________________
Physical Preparedness Coach
Co-Owner of UniFit Oy.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:25 pm 
Offline
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Deific Wizard of Sagacity

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:20 pm
Posts: 4413
at the risk of just sounding like a contrarian, I have to say that stretching never did a damn thing for me.

I can get more out of 5 minutes of activation work than an hour of stretching, and yes, there have been times when I have done an hour of stretching.

I would say that it makes much more sense for you to spend your time doing glute activation work and core exercises than stretching.

Horses for courses I guess. What works for me might not work for you, but I would definitely add some activation stuff.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:27 pm 
Offline
Advanced Member
Advanced Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:40 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: Lapland, Finland
robertscott wrote:
at the risk of just sounding like a contrarian, I have to say that stretching never did a damn thing for me.

I can get more out of 5 minutes of activation work than an hour of stretching, and yes, there have been times when I have done an hour of stretching.

I would say that it makes much more sense for you to spend your time doing glute activation work and core exercises than stretching.

Horses for courses I guess. What works for me might not work for you, but I would definitely add some activation stuff.

Definitely. I never do static stretching myself. I get all the mobility drills from my warm-up (dynamic and activation). And especially core, scapula and hip activation are great, there's even some research. But If you suggest doing only activation drills, you are just guessing. Activate what? What if the person has normally firing glutes and core and such. Odds are that he doesn't, but still. Stretching is way easier. Stretch where you have inflexibility. This dismisses all the stability and activation problems totally, but nevermind that now.

Stretching has its marks, even though it's pointless or less important for some people. Some benefit from it greatly, and also get some relaxation and other byproducts.

_________________
Physical Preparedness Coach
Co-Owner of UniFit Oy.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:58 pm 
Offline
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Deific Wizard of Sagacity

Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:19 pm
Posts: 4393
Location: Pennsylvania
I've done static floor stretches pretty regularly since childhood, and I'm very flexible. That could just be a coincidence, but I doubt it.

I usually stretch at the end of my workouts. However, I wouldn't recommend stretching if you ever pull or strain something. I think stretching an injured muscle only aggravates the injury.

Also, don't overdo it. It's supposed to feel good. If it hurts, you're doing it wrong.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:43 am 
Offline
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Deific Wizard of Sagacity

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:20 pm
Posts: 4413
Dub wrote:
But If you suggest doing only activation drills, you are just guessing


educated guessing my man ;)

99% of people are tight and weak in the same areas. The guy says he spends a lot of time sitting which makes him very typical of the sort of person who would need glute and core work.

You're right though, obviously to know for sure you'd need to assess his mobility and blah blah blah but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts I'm right about what he'll need. Glutes and core, baby.

My problem with stretching, particularly static stretching, is that it only has a temporary effect and doesn't address why the muscles are tight in the first place.

But meh, some people swear by it so I'm certainly not going to dismiss it entirely. Just that, for me at least, it doesn't do anything.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:49 am 
Offline
moderator
moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:11 am
Posts: 7496
Location: Kudjip, Papua New Guinea
Last night I typed a very wise, insightful answer, but I fell asleep befor "submiting" it, and by the time I got up this morning someone had used the loptop, and my answer is gone forever. Too bad, because it really was the best post ever written for this forum. Now it's morning, and my inspiration is gone. The summary, though, is that if you are doing something that is making you stiff and sore, the best treatment is to stop doing that. In this case, if the problem is caused by sitting too much, then don't sit so much. Even with a desk job, you can change your habits. Just stand up once in a while. If you have a report to read, stand up to read it. Learn to do stretching in your chair. Some people use a standing desk, like a podium next to their conventional desk, and just stand up and move their keyboard or laptop and stand to work for a few minutes. Move more. Go for coffee once in a while, or a drink of water.

_________________
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:07 am 
Offline
Novice
Novice

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:14 am
Posts: 84
robertscott wrote:
...I can get more out of 5 minutes of activation work than an hour of stretching, ...

I would say that it makes much more sense for you to spend your time doing glute activation work and core exercises than stretching.

...


Could you please give an example for the "activation work"? You say later (in another post) that stretching doesn`t adress why the muscles are tight.

Do you mean exercising (strengthening) the antagonist instead of stretching the agonist? Or something different?

What would be your advice when, for example, my shoulders are not flexible enough for a proper grip doing low bar squats? (I hope it is o. k. to ask here.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:34 am 
Offline
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Deific Wizard of Sagacity

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:20 pm
Posts: 4413
Crow wrote:
robertscott wrote:
...I can get more out of 5 minutes of activation work than an hour of stretching, ...

I would say that it makes much more sense for you to spend your time doing glute activation work and core exercises than stretching.

...


Could you please give an example for the "activation work"? You say later (in another post) that stretching doesn`t adress why the muscles are tight.

Do you mean exercising (strengthening) the antagonist instead of stretching the agonist? Or something different?

What would be your advice when, for example, my shoulders are not flexible enough for a proper grip doing low bar squats? (I hope it is o. k. to ask here.)


yeah, strengthening the agonist is a big part of it.

For the sake of example, we'll use someone with a bad back. So most people with a bad back have tight hamstrings, hip flexors and lower back. Because these muscles are tight, the logical thing to do is to stretch them. However, the reason these muscles are tight is because the glutes and core are weak, so without strengthening the glutes and core, all the stretching in the world isn't going to make a bit of difference. An example of the sort of activation work needed here would be things like glute bridges, lying clams, planks, bird dogs etc.

As for your shoulders, it probably the case that your shoulders are stuck in downward rotation, with overactive pecs, upper traps and rhomboids (very common) so strengthening the upward rotators like your serratus and mid/lower traps is in order. There could be other reasons for your shoulder inflexibility but that's the most common. You could try things like scap push ups, trap raises, band pull aparts etc


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:12 am 
Offline
Novice
Novice

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:14 am
Posts: 84
robertscott wrote:
...As for your shoulders, it probably the case that your shoulders are stuck in downward rotation, with overactive pecs, upper traps and rhomboids (very common) so strengthening the upward rotators like your serratus and mid/lower traps is in order. There could be other reasons for your shoulder inflexibility but that's the most common. You could try things like scap push ups, trap raises, band pull aparts etc


Thank you for the answer and the tips... :thumbright:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:32 am 
Offline
Rookie
Rookie

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:38 pm
Posts: 29
Thanks for the advice guys! Really good information here! robertscott, thanks for bringing up "activation work" especially. I'll look into it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:01 pm 
Offline
Rookie
Rookie

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:38 pm
Posts: 29
By the way, between dynamic stretching, activation exercises, warm-ups and everything else where would SMR technique & foam rolling enter (should I decide to start)? Is it just a matter of what feels right? That is to say, do you do the foam rolling stuff a specific # of times each week or would there be any aspect that would concrete about the whole thing?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:28 pm 
Offline
Powerlifting Ninja
Powerlifting Ninja

Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 10:36 am
Posts: 1035
Adrx wrote:
1) I usually do a more formal warm-up with the weight exercises I'm performing that day (50% workout weight, around 12 reps, etc.). Is there an added benefit to dynamic stretching in addition to that? I thought they served the same purpose.

Dynamic Stretching

It activates the central nervous system and stretch reflex along with increasing blood flow. So, it is different.


Quote:
2) Mayo Clinic says stretching without "warm" muscles may lead to injury. Mayo Clinic recommends a light jog or some light activity and then stretch (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretc ... iongroup=2). This is why I wondered if some assortment of dynamic exercises beforehand would fulfill as a muscle "warm up." Anyway, I think static stretching is mostly what I'm leaning toward, like you said just something to do during tv commercials and stuff.



String Cheeze

Think of you connetive tissue as String Cheeze. It is more pliable, stretchable when it it warm compared to being cold from being in the refrigerator.

That means you are better off performing static stretches after your workout.


3) I've considered foam rolling but I just haven't gotten around to try it yet. Are the benefits of foam rolling scientifically proven yet? I don't know much about it I guess.

Foam Roller

There is some good research beind it, myfacial release.

Initially, I didn't see the value. Once I tried it and researched it...I got it.

The foam roller is what I'd term the "Poor Man's Massage" it's great.

Best of all, it is cheap an easy. I find that an admirable quality in a woman, as well.

Kenny Croxdale

_________________
Thanks TimD.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group