Article – Stretching 101
Often the first thing omitted from someone’s exercise program, stretching is incredibly important. The benefits of stretching are many with some of the top ones being improved circulation, relief from tension, support for us to maintain optimum posture, and an aid to minimize our risk for injury. (1) In order to realize these benefits it’s valuable for us to know how much, how often, and what types of stretching we should be participating in. In the following article I will share some specifics in response to each of these items.
For starters, it’s helpful to note that there are several different forms of stretching. Some stretching involves more movement and is more fluid while other types are meant to find the end range of a given muscle and hold it in an effort to increase the available range of motion after a time. Both forms are beneficial and you’re actually encouraged to include each of them in your exercise programming equally. As a general rule you want to do more dynamic forms of stretching at the beginning of your workout and save the static stretching for when you’re cooling down from your bout of exercise.
A good example of pre-exercise stretching is the mobility circuit we teach all of you at BodyBasics. When doing the mobility circuit you are encouraged to move actively for reps through each movement rather than holding at end range for one span of time. The reason for this is to get you warmed up while also opening up range of motion at key joints like your ankles, hips, and middle spine. By actively working your joints and muscles through fuller ranges of motion you’re also better preparing yourself for the demands of the full body movements you participate in during both group and one on one workouts.(2) A good rule of thumb is to aim for about 7-10 minutes of active stretching pre-workout. Use movements that address range of motion of key joints to full body movement like your ankles, hips, middle spine, shoulders, wrists, and neck.
Post-workout is when we want you to hold your stretches. At this time your bodies are more malleable because your body temperature has remained elevated for the duration of your workout. When you’re holding your stretches the other benefits of relief from tension and maintenance of optimum posture can be achieved. In order to realize these benefits it is encouraged to hold each stretch you do for at least 30 seconds and up to 60 seconds, especially for those of you who are older than sixty-five.(3) When developing your static stretching routine be sure to include stretches for both your upper body and your lower body. I would suggest positioning 10 – 15 minutes every day to participate in some static stretching. The frequency is ideal, especially if you want to realize the benefits of postural improvement and relief from the day’s tension.
In order to get you started on the right track with your stretching program I’m including some resources. For starters is this great website I found while writing this article. It has been assembled by a very passionate physical therapist named Janice Eveleigh. Her website is stretching-exercises-guide.com. Another great resource I’ve personally realized a lot of information from over the years is a book written by a father/son duo named Jim and Phil Wharton called The Wharton’s Stretch Book.
I’d like to leave you with one final note about stretching. The most important thing you can do to keep your joints moving freely is to stretch. Please commit to a regular routine of at least 3 days each week and ultimately every day to stretch. Your body will thank you for your effort.
1 – Eveleigh, Janice, DPT. “Stretching Exercises Guide. Your Ultimate Guide to Stretches.”Guide. Your Ultimate Guide to Stretches. N.p., 2007. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
2 – Page, Phil, PT, PhD, ATC, CSCS, FACSM. “Current Concepts In Muscle Stretching for Exercise and Rehabilitation.” The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 7.1 (2012): 114-15. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.
3 – Feland, JB, JW Myrer, SS Schelthies, GW Fellingham, and GW Measom. “The Effect of Duration of Stretching of the Hamstring Muscle Group for Increasing Range of Motion in People Aged 65 Years or Older.” Physical Therapy (2001): n. pag. Web.
Welcome New and Returning Clients
The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from one of our clients or allied health network!
Don Walker – referred by Dr. Griffin
Rita Walker – referred by her husband and fellow client Don Walker
Sherrie Boatright – referred by fellow client Ann Richhart
Mary Fischer – found us from our website content
Kandy Sanders – referred by Dennis Gyllenhaal
Suzanne Youngquist – found us through Thumbtack
Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.
Gregg Sinner – for being diligent with his mobility exercises, so much so that he recently realized he can see better when backing up his car!
Shelley Phipps – for recently demonstrating in a very tangible way all of the balance training she does when she was able to successfully navigate a rock-filled stream without falling!
Paul Simon – for setting a recent personal record for total pushups after doing a full group workout first!
Jon Green – for setting a new personal record on his Barbell Hip Thrusts!
Nancy Swinford – for bumping up both her focus and the effort she’s placing into her group workouts!
Recipe – Saucy Salmon
Recipe by: Ellie Krieger, Registered Dietician and Food Network Chef
Saucy Salmon recipe
Serve this salmon along side a 1/2 cup serving of whole wheat couscous or brown rice and you’ve got yourself a nutrient-packed post-exercise meal!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium diced tomatoes, juice included
- 1 (12-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce
- 1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 2 dried whole red chile peppers
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 large bunch Swiss chard, washed well and dried, tough center stems removed, coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
- 4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until soft and golden, about 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, red peppers, chili peppers, cumin, coriander and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil , then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat, and remove chile peppers.
Place Swiss chard on the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish . Season fish fillets with remaining salt and pepper and place in on top of chard. Cover with sauce and bake, covered, until fish is just cooked and chard is wilted, about 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
(1 serving equals 1 fillet, 3/4 cup chard and sauce)
Calories 370; Total Fat 15 g; (Sat Fat 2 g, Mono Fat 6 g, Poly Fat 5 g) ; Protein 38 g; Carb 20 g; Fiber 4 g; Cholesterol 94 mg; Sodium 700 mg
Excellent source of: Protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Pantothenic Acid, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium
Good source of: Fiber, Folate, Manganese
Video – Calve Stretch With Towel
Chris, Kris, Myrya, Kristian, Lance, Rachel, Mike, Star, and Ben