Everyone in the athletic world has heard about stretching, and most people have heard the term mobility, but let’s talk about what they are specifically and how they apply to you. For our purposes we will break stretching down into static and dynamic. Static stretching is moving into a posture slowly and holding it with the purpose of muscle elongation anywhere from thirty seconds up to two minutes. Static stretching should be performed after your workout or sport activity. Research has shown that to get the most benefit from your static stretch you should hold it for one minute or longer.
Dynamic stretching or mobility work should be performed before your workout or activity and consist of drills that are sport specific or specifically prepare you for your workout. For example, if you are going to go run sprints it would be appropriate to warm-up with something like high knee and skipping drills to mobilize the hip musculature and mirror the activity you are about to perform. If you are going to be performing push-ups then some chest opening drills may be in order like the one seen here in the photo. This picture is a still frame shot and it could be assumed this is a static stretch. Indeed it is but we can also use it as a mobility drill and to prep for our activity. This is done by taking the right leg and stepping forward to open the chest wall and then back to relieve the stretch off the chest wall. Try both. First, do your mobility work and perform the chest step through 15x on each side. Then, after your workout, try holding this posture while performing diaphragmatic breathing to aid in relaxation of the muscles. Hold the stretch for one minute. You might ask what is diaphragmatic breathing? We’ll go over the basics next blog.
A collaborative effort from the experienced staff at IT&W