Flexibility Training

16 Nov No Comments Rolandas Fitness, Personal Training

Flexibility training / stretching

personal trainer east londonFlexibility training is such training when you stretch your muscles in order to:

  • Get more flexible
  • Maintain your flexibility level
  • Warm up and loosen up before intensive workouts
  • Improve muscle recovery after resistance training
  • Quicken muscle healing when it has been pulled/sprained or is chronically tight

There are two major types of stretching – dynamic and static

personal training londonDynamic stretching – controlled motion in body parts (arms, legs swinging, torso twists etc.) to the limits of your range of motion (ROM). Dynamic stretching is great for warm ups. In dynamic stretches, there are no “jerky” movements or bouncing, unlike in relatively high injury risk ballistic stretching where the aim is to force a body part beyond its range of motion.

Dynamic stretches are normally performed in sets of 8-12 repetitions, gradually getting to the limits of a ROM. If you feel tired after having done few sets  — stop. There is less elasticity in tired muscles, which results in decreased ROM. Perform only the number of repetitions that you can do with a full range of motion. When you reach a maximal ROM in a joint in any direction, you should stop the stretching after few more reps and move to another stretch. If you maintain the maximal ROM over many repetitions, memory of the range of the movement gets set up. Then you have to overcome that memory in order to make further progress.

Some examples of dynamic stretches:

Leg kicks – raise your straight hands and keep in front of you. Step forward with your right foot, then kick up with your straight left leg to reach your left hand. Alternate kicks walking forward. Leg kicks stretch hamstrings, lower back and calve muscles.

Side to side leg swings – bring one leg forward and swing it from one side to another. You can hold on to something in order to keep your balance. This movement stretches and warms up abductors and adductors.

Side to side torso twists – raise your straight arms sideways and rotate your torso from one side to another. This movement stretches and warms up upper back and oblique abdominal muscles.

Knee hugs – while stepping forward, hug your knee into your chest, then release the knee and repeat on the other leg, keep alternating. This stretch loosens up glutes and hips.

Glute-bridge – lay on your back and bend your legs, then move your hips up and down. This movement stretches anterior hip and warms up glutes and hamstrings.

personal training east londonStatic stretching – can be classified to active, passive, isometric and PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) stretches. I am going to expand on the static stretches in my upcoming posts.

About 

Rolandas Malinauskas is online personal trainer with 12 years personal training experience in east London and decorated natural bodybuilder – Natural Physique Association (NPA) Mike Williams Classic 2011 Men’s Lightweight Champion, NPA Mike Williams Classic 2011 Men's Overall Vice-champion and NPA British Championship 2011 Men’s Lightweight Vice-champion. Rolandas has been dedicated to natural bodybuilding for over 18 years now. 3 out of 12 years of personal training career Rolandas has been consulting on one of the biggest schemes of Exercise on GP Referral in London (Islington), allowing him to treat lower back, knee pain, cardiovascular problems, arthritis etc.