6 Myths of Stretching - Busted !

Found on RealAge.com                  

To stretch or not to stretch, that is the question. Well, one of the questions. There's also when to stretch, how to do it. how long to hold each stretch - you get the picture.

To set the record straight, we to turned to Mike Clark, DPT. Sharecare's chief science officer and CEO of the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Myth # 1: You don't need to srtetch before you work out.

The Truth: You do - but it's bad to stretch cold muscles. First, you need to release the muscles so they can be stretched. The best way is by using a foam roller (or anything round, like a tennis ball or basketball). It applies deep pressure to the muscle, bringing it back to its normal length, undoing the shortening and tightening that sitting, sleeping and walking around in high heel causes. Roll your caves, outside of your thighs. upper butt and upper back. To do it, place the roller under the muscles you want to release and use your body weight to put pressure on the muscles. Roll up and down a bit, and when you find a tender spot, linger there for 45 seconds.

If you can't mange to foam roll. at least warm up your muscles with some gentle cardio before you stretch.

Myth # 2: To get more out of the stretch, pulse or bounce a bit.

The Truth: There's a reason basic stretching is known as static stretching - you're meant to stay still. Why shouldn't you pulse when you stretch? Everyone has muscle imbalances, which cause scar tissue to form in the muscles. That tissue is like glue. When you bounce, your nervous system makes you go around that scar tissue, so the parts that need to get stretched don't get stretched. Stretch your calves. hips, chest and outer hamstrings. holding each stretch for 30 seconds. Do two sets.

Myth #3: The longer you hold the stretch the better.

The truth: Once you get into that stretch, there’s no need to lounge there while watching an entire episode of 30 Rock. Research says that whether you hold a static stretch for 20, 60 or 90 seconds, the effects are the same. Do your 20 seconds, then move on.

Myth #4: There’s no need to stretch post-workout.

The truth: It’s crucial to stretch after your workout, as it makes for better recovery. Because you contract your muscles while you exercise, they actually get shorter—and you need to restore them to their normal length. Otherwise, they begin to stay tight all the time, and that’s a recipe for aches and pains. 

Myth #5: Stretching a couple times a week is plenty.

The truth: You sit, sleep and work on your laptop (or do something else similarly body-numbing or repetitive) every day. It follows that you need to stretch every day to counteract those activities and keep your body balanced. Take what many women go through. They wear high heels, cross their legs while sitting, text on their phones and spend the day working on the computer. Wearing high heels causes tightness in the calves, crossing your legs causes tightness in the adductors, sitting causes tightness in the hips, hunching over your phone while you’re texting causes tightness in the fronts of your shoulders and staring at a computer all day makes your neck tight.

Myth #6: I’m pretty flexible already, so I don’t need to stretch.

The truth: This brings us back to those muscle imbalances. While you may be able to touch your toes or scratch your own back, other muscles might not be so flexible.
Now that you know the ABCs of stretching, one more piece of advice: After you do your static stretching, if you’re getting ready to exercise, you also want to do a few dynamic stretches—moving stretches that help warm up your body up for your workout. Do one set of 10 reps each of prisoner squat to calf raises, single-leg squat touchdowns, lunges with rotation and push-ups with rotation.

How to perform prisoner squat to calf raises:

Stand with your feet pointed straight ahead and placed shoulder-width apart.  Bend your knees slightly and place your hands behind your head.  Squat down, bending at your knees and keeping your feet straight.  Keep your chest up, contract your glutes and press through your heels, extending at the hips and knees to the starting position. Raise up onto your toes, performing a calf raise.  Lower to the starting position and repeat.

How to perform Single Leg Squat Touchdown:
Single Leg Squat Touchdown:1. Stand on one leg with your feet pointed straight ahead2. Squat down by bending the hip and knee3. As you squat, reach the opposite hand toward the balance foot4. Hold the bottom of the squat for a few seconds

     Single Leg Squat Touchdown:
     1. Stand on one leg with your feet pointed straight ahead
     2. Squat down by bending the hip and knee
     3. As you squat, reach the opposite hand toward the balance foot
     4. Hold the bottom of the squat for a few seconds, return to the starting position.

     1. Feet straight and knee aligned with second toe
     2. Abs active (pull bellybutton to spine)
     3. Go Slow (down for 3-4 seconds, pause and return under control)
     4. Perform 1-4 sets of 10-15 reps)
     5. Increase intenstiy by using a Dumbbell
     6. Increase the demand by standing on airex pad, bosu ball, or couch cushion

How to Perform Push-ups with Rotation

Begin in push-up position with your feet together and toes on the floor and your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Draw-in your navel and contract your glutes. With your back flat, slowly lower your body toward the floor, lowering and contracting your shoulder blades. Push back up to starting position and rotate your body 90-degrees from the floor, fully extending both arms, one in the air and one on the floor. Reverse the movement of rotation to return to the starting position and repeat, alternating the direction of rotation.


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