Stretching vs Muscle Activation
What you need to know and when you should – or shouldn’t –be doing them
So as many of you know, our new studio sits right on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail in a beautiful part of Citrus Park. I have a window that looks out onto one of the public access points for the trail. Day in and day out, I am starting to notice the same faces around the same times doing the same warm up and cool down routines.
Are you constantly dealing with pain when you run or workout?
Everyone comes to the trail looking excited and eager to start their activity. As weeks fly by, some of those same faces start to look different. The ones that start to move slower, they start to limp and in an almost predictable fashion, they either go MIA or they show up to their next outing with a brace on for a few weeks, and THEN they go MIA. But then in about 2 weeks they return with renewed vigor!
Unfortunately, many repeat the same cycle over again.
Is stretching causing your issues during your physical activities?
For someone that specializes in the muscle system and its inner workings, I am drawn to figure out WHY so many people continue to experience this cycle. Was there something they had in common? Was it the rollerbladers or the runners more than the bikers? Or a certain age group? I started to notice a correlation (which doesn’t mean causation) that the people who spend the time to do some “deep” stretching were the ones who ended up seeming like they were injured – either limping / compensating or wearing a brace of some sort.
There were some predictable stretches such as when you grab your ankle and pull to your bottom, rotate your upper body as far as you can to one side and then the other, heel up on the curb and lean in to loosen those hamstrings and foot on the curb to stretch your calf, pull your arm across your chest, etc.
I think that the fitness industry can do a better job educating people on how to properly prepare their bodies for physical activities. I don’t believe that anyone has any ill-intent. I know that I never tell someone to do something that I think would cause harm. However, just because everyone else is doing it, it doesn’t make it appropriate for you.
How is stretching leaving you vulnerable?
I’ll use two simple analogies to wrap it up.
Stretching before your workout activity is the equivalent of a knight in shining armor taking off all of their armor and getting off their horse to go battle a dragon. You leave yourself exposed and vulnerable.
Stretching can do just that. It tells your nervous system to take a little time off, shut down, become less active which leaves you exposed and weak.
Super Charge your muscles and nervous system to win the race!
Activation before your workout activity is the equivalent of that same knight upgrading their armor all the way down to their undergarments and then putting armor on their horse! You add lays of protection.
Activation excites your nervous system increasing the communication between all of your moving parts and upgrading your internal protective mechanisms!
So instead of taking on an activity like running or slaying a dragon, both of which are extremely neurologically demanding, with your muscles in a sleep state and not working to their fullest potential - you can instead activate them and supercharge your protective mechanisms in your body!
Want to find out more about how you can learn to activate your muscles and better prepare for you upcoming bout of physical activity?
Don’t delay email or call me right not to claim $100 off your assessment and initial session with Tampa’s Only Master Level Muscle ActivationTechniques Specialist - me, Kevin Votta!
Kevin@fitness-tek.com or 813-406-0827
Spots are limited for this special offer, so don’t delay!