So, you wanna STRETCH?

DO ALL MOVEMENTS OF A STRETCH SLOWLY.
Stretching is fantastic for your body. It will enhance the tensile strength (the amount of tension something can "take" without getting injured) of your tendons, ligaments and muscles. Whether you want to recover quicker from your workouts, relieve (self-supplied) stress (and believe me, all stress is self-supplied) or just get more flexible, stretching is for you. And if you want all of them, stretching is DEFINITELY for you.
But just as in NUTRITION, ANAEROBICS and AEROBICS, going through the motions might bring you SOME of the benefits, but to get 'em all, you've got to cover some important aspects.

The Mentality of Stretching

I'm a piece of STEAK?
DO ALL MOVEMENTS OF A STRETCH SLOWLY.
We all know what a steak looks like. Some of us even know that the steak is the muscle of the animal that was killed. When you stretch ANY muscle on your body, you are stretching what would be a "steak" if we were feeding YOU to a cannibal. So here lies the first and most important point of stretching - give your body enough time "in" the stretch for your body to elongate. Act like you are grabbing onto a steak with each hand and are trying to "stretch" the steak by pulling it apart. You have to admit, it would take awhile before you would see the steak stretch. And most people that stretch do not, in any way, give their bodies enough time for the stretch to reach fruition.

You need to be taught TAUTNESS, then add a little PATIENCE.
DO ALL MOVEMENTS OF A STRETCH SLOWLY.
Tautness is the essence of stretching. Reaching a state of tautness and staying there (long enough for the "steak" to stretch) are the basics of stretching. If you don't feel tautness in the area you are trying to stretch, that area will not receive the benefits of stretching. Want to stretch ANY area of your body? Get to a point of tautness and spend some time there. It is that simple.
But our brains being what they are, we can "handle" a LOT more than just laying there stretching. So we tend to get impatient and/or bored with it. Patience is truly a virtue. It serves you well in stretching.

Steps ONE, TWO and THREE.
DO ALL MOVEMENTS OF A STRETCH SLOWLY.
Your body has a natural defense system it comes with to attempt to keep you from getting injured. When an area of your body gets stretched close to the limit, you will naturally "tighten up" the surrounding areas in an attempt to keep yourself from "ripping" (good thing, huh?). But this natural tendency to "tighten up" will hamper your attempts to gain flexibility.
SO HERE IS THE PLAN:
Get to the FIRST stage of tautness and STAY THERE. "See" if you are tensing up any surrounding areas. If you are, RELAX them. Convince yourself that you are not close to getting injured and it is okay to feel tautness. As soon as the tautness "goes away", stretch further until you feel the tautness again. "See" if you are tensing up any surrounding areas. If you are, RELAX them. Convince yourself that you are not close to getting injured and it is okay to feel tautness (heard that before?). You have now completed STEP TWO. If the tautness "goes away" you are ready for STEP THREE. Guess what STEP THREE is? You got it, stretch further until you feel tautness again. At this stage, the tautness probably will not "go away". So spend some time there while you develop your patience (oh yeah, and ALSO get more flexible!). You have now completed a stretch.
This stretch is for the calf muscles.

This stretch is for the hamstring muscles.

This stretch is also for the hamstring muscles.
This stretch is an advanced style for the quadriceps muscles.
This stretch is for the quadriceps muscles.
This stretch is a safe style for the lower back muscles.
This stretch is an advanced style for the lower back muscles.
This stretch is for the front of your upper torso.

 
 
 
 
 

GO BACK TO HOME PAGE


Please consult a physician before starting this or any other diet/exercise program.
 BACK TO THE TOP
 BACK TO THE TOP


Copyright (C) 2000 -- Barry Acquistapace, Owner of born2Bfit.com
E-mail -- SOCALXPRT@Yahoo.com
Revised -- 05/07/2000
URL -- http://www.born2Bfit.com/stretch.html
Web master -- Barry Acquistapace