Why Stretching Sucks
Why is it that with all my clients I always hear the same areas are tight? Also, why is it that they all claim to be stretching those same areas daily and still say, "I know that I need to be stretching more"? Dr. John Berardi says it best with, "How's that working for you?"
Hips and Hamstrings
I walk into the stretching area of my gym and see clients’ feet up, legs straight, with their foot on the trainers shoulder. From there the trainer lifts up, causing the client to clasp the table and both trainer and client talk about how tight the hips and hamstrings are. Sound familiar?
First off, I will go into why I don't believe in stretching (there is a time and a place don't get me wrong). We're stretching all these weak and unstable muscles in order to do what? Only make them even weaker and even more unstable; increasing the Range of Motion (ROM) without strengthening it or stabilizing it only increases our chance of injury. This is totally contradictory to why we work out in the first place—to look and feel good.
So no stretching? Then what?
SMR (Self Myofascia Release), or in other words, foam rolling
I begin all my sessions with it. This isn't going to lengthen anything or stretch anything but we went over that already... Foam rolling will help break up scar tissue and adhesions, which allows the muscle to move without restriction. This puts less stress on our joints which overall makes us move and feel better. The best way I’ve had it explained to me was that if you tie a knot in a rope and pull on both ends of the rope what happens? You might gain some mobility while pulling on the rope but once it’s released it goes back to the length we started at. However, if we lay that rope on the ground apply pressure and roll it we can work that knot out. See what I'm getting at here?
Other Reasons To Foam Roll
- Aid in recovery by increasing the blood flow to the area which is why I personally use it pre- AND post- workout.
- Joint mobility
- Prevent arthritis
- Injury prevention
Also remember that a lot of our problems come back to our posture and movements in and out of the gym, which I will write more about later on.
Please feel free to contact me about more SMR techniques.