“Use it or lose it!” …
You must have heard this expression before and it definitely applies when it comes to stretching your body.
Here are some of the benefits of stretching:
• Improves flexibility – Become flexible. It allows you to push your body beyond its comfort zone, increasing your overall physical ability.
• Improves the range of motion in your joints – Providing you better balance, which will help keep you mobile and less susceptible to falls.
• Improves circulation – Stretching increases the blood flow to your muscles, improving your circulation.
• Relieves stress – Stretching relaxes tense muscles that often accompany stress.
• Injury prevention and recovery – Stretching helps condition the muscles and joints, helping to prevent injuries and reduce recovery time.
• Improves posture and technique– Stretching prevents muscles and joints from seizing up and improves elasticity, allowing better posture and technique.
• Increased length of relaxed muscles
• Increased power and elasticity of our muscles
• Increased endurance and metabolism
• Assist in achieving better coordination, muscle control and proper technique.
• Enable your body to perform more with less energy
If you do not stretch your muscles become tight, which means..
• Decreased mobility
• Decreased muscle metabolism
• Decreased muscle coordination
• Decrease power “output”
• Decreased speed
• Increased risk of injuries
Self-Myofascial Release Techniques (Foam Roller)
• By performing Self-Myfascial Release techniques on a simple piece of foam, your can improve flexibility, function, performance and reduce injuries.
• In a nutshell, you use your own body weight to roll on the round foam roll, massaging away restrictions to normal soft tissue extensibility. And you can perform this program at home, maximising your recovery time.
Kinetic chain concepts
• The kinetic chain is made up of the soft tissue system (muscle, tendon, ligament and fascia), neural system (nerves and CNS) and articular system (joints).
• The kinetic chain works as an integrated functional unit. All components of the kinetic chain exist interdependently. If one of segments is not functioning efficiently, then the other components must compensate, leading to tissue overload, fatigue, faulty movement patterns and finally initiating the cumulative injury cycle.
• For example, muscle tightness restricts the range of motion that a joint may be moved. Because of muscle restriction (tightness, soft tissue adhesions, and neural-hyperactivity), joint motion is altered, thus changing normal neural feedback to the central nervous system (CNS).
• Ultimately, neuromuscular efficiency is compromised, which leads to poor movement patters, including premature fatigue and causing injury.
Benefits of self-myofascial release
The benefits of SMR include:
• Correct muscle imbalances
• Improve joint range of motion
• Reduce muscle soreness
• Reduce neuromuscular hypertonicity
• Increase extensibility of musculotendinous junction
• Improve neuromuscular efficiency
• Maintain normal functional muscular length
• Relieve joint stress
Choosing foam rolls
When choosing a foam roll, product density is very important. If the foam is too soft, less than adequate tissue massage is applied. On the other hand, if the foam is too hard, bruising and more advanced soft tissue trauma may occur, leading to further restriction, initiation on the inflammatory process, decreased range of motion, pain and decreased performance.
“Life is about balance, elasticity and flexibility. It may stretch you but it will never break your soul. Seek the balancing point, and you will be just fine.”