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Articles Sports Flexibility & Stretching

Flexibility & Stretching

BASIC STRENGTH TRAINING FOR ENDURANCE ATHLETES

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Get on your knees and slowly lean forward until your palms touch the ground. Then stretch one leg after the other backwards. Please make sure that your legs are about hip to shoulder wide apart, and this provides excellent stability. In this position, you tighten your torso (i.e. abdominal, gluteal and back muscles), align your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and your fingers slightly outwards and start the downward movement. The best execution is slow, and this means that the downward movement lasts 2 seconds and the upward movement 2 seconds.

HOW BRING FLEXIBILITY BACK?

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Reflex in our body’s automatic response to some stimulus. The stretch reflex that contracts our muscles in response to stretching is not voluntary (it just happens). And also, blinking in response to fast movement near our face is a reflex that protects our eyes. The human organism plays many such reflexes that make our life easier by responding to various standard situations.

DOES FLEXIBILITY COME FROM STRETCH?

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To answer the point why we do stretch is to prevent the muscle from shortening and stiffening of the tendons and ligaments are certain. There isn’t an exercise that can prevent the aging of connective tissues, so stretching is not a painful process but full of fun with less hazard.

WARM-UP

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The stretches illustrated are aimed as an introduction to stretching. For Further information about stretching, contact your local Sports Medicine Physiotherapist or Sports Doctor.

FLEXIBILITY EXERCISES

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Here are some general guidelines to bear in mind when following a flexibility program…

  • You should be thoroughly warmed up before performing these exercises

  • Stretch to just before the point of discomfort

  • The feeling of tightness should diminish as you hold the stretch

  • Breath out into the stretch. Avoid breath holding

  • Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds

  • If tightness intensifies or you feel pain stop the stretch

  • Shake out limbs between stretches

  • Complete 2-3 stretches before moving on to the next exercise

THE SCOOPED UP TOE TOUCH

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Slowly bend forward as far as it is comfortable for you—no need to get ambitious yet. Keep your knees locked or close to it and your weight balanced between your toes and your heels. Keep your head down, and do not look up at all for the duration of the stretch. Inhale—into your stomach if you know how—without popping up like a hydraulic jack. Squeeze your butt as hard as you can—imagine pinching a coin with your cheeks if you have trouble with that—and make white knuckle fists. Stay there for a second.

THE SPINAL DECOMPRESSION HANG

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Repeat. Alternate your grips every time you perform the exercise—palms forward one time and palms back the next. (Hang C).

Ideally, it would be best if you did this stretch every day throughout the day.

Still, twice a week is better than a slap on the face with a wet fish.

The spine extension and hip flexor stretch—and the splits— will groove a lot smoother if you precede them with hanging back traction.

Make sure to hang out after lifting weights. A set of hangs after every stage of deadlifts makes a healthy addition to the Power to the People! Strength program.