Connective Tissue: Limiting Your Movements, Changing Your Life

As you age, the way you move–in very subtle ways over time, becomes more a function of tendons, ligaments, and supporting structures rather than muscular strength

And because these structures that literally bind our bones and muscles together are so strong, it is a long-term task creating changes. Muscles react relatively quickly to exercise. Within a matter of weeks a beginner, at any age, will notice significant strength gains from a properly designed resistance training program. The mindset to achieve significant range of motion changes must be focused on the longer term. The process itself is more tedious and involves a regular program of stretching.

Proper exercise remains your best tool for not only maintaining what abilities you now have, but working to increase them–at any age!

The restoration of normal patterns of motion can be critical for personal safety.

Yoga is an ideal way to focus on this vital aspect of your health and wellness.

To Your Health and Fitness,

Steven

Stretching: It’s About Range of Motion.

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Some of you may be disappointed to discover that stretching is not the ideal warmup routine before an athletic event.

Let’s be clear: from the standpoint of muscular power and performance, stretching is not affording you an advantage.

The latest volley in this intermittent controversy focuses on runners, but generalized conclusions are offered, as well. Please click on it and read, “Why Stretching Is A Waste Of Time For Runners.”

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/stretching-waste-time-runners/story?id=26379580

What’s Its Place In Fitness?

The title of the post says it all: Range of Motion.

If all you’re interested in is bench presses, it doesn’t matter if you can’t extend your leg sideways to the level of your head. But if you step into the dojo and spar, it needs to be totally natural, and then some. If you’re trying to do the Dragonfly pose in Yoga class and lack sufficient hip flexibility, you’ll never get past the first part of the movement. It’s that simple.

The debate about stretching, for the longest time, has included its functionality as a warm-up. Forget about it. The best warm up is simply doing what you’re going to do slowly and gently before you go fast and furious.

It’s a matter of getting the muscles moving and the blood flowing, because when the action starts, it’s maximum strain on all the parts, right?

No guy who cares about his car will ever attempt a record run immediately after starting the engine because it takes time for the lubricants to circulate and temperatures to effect all the moving parts. It’s a crude but useful analogy to athletic sports performance. That’s it! Warm up for heavy bench presses by doing light benches first. Before you try to slam a 300 yard drive off the tee, take a number of practice swings. If you teeter on one leg, pulling the other leg behind you doing that goofy looking leg stretch that so many do, people are secretly laughing at you. Besides, it’s dangerous because you might fall.

What About Post-Workout?

Studies and debates linger about the effectiveness of stretching as a method of relieving soreness. Here’s my simple take on all that research: right now I am sore all over from a heavy total body workout yesterday. All I want to do is let everything rest… eveything. Did I feel like stretching at the end of training yesterday? All I wanted was to hit the showers. If you find that stretching after a work-out reduces DOMS, do it… It doesn’t matter what the tests in the journals conclude.

Do I find the increased range of motion that I developed as a martial artist to be beneficial?

Absolutely!

Let’s Do a Few Stretches and Move On,

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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