Is Stretching Important?

Posted on 14 July 2010

The following functional training exercise is from RaceTwitch Pro-Team member, Kata Gemes.   Kata lives in Budapest, Hungary and has extensive experience  coaching athletes with functional training programs including:   Pilates-method, yoga, body art, Berczik-method, weight training and cross training.   The coaching focus is to prevent injuries and overload.   Other aspects of her coaching include core training and general nutritional consulting based on an evolutionary views.

The human body allows  a wide range of movement. Our ancestors performed many  types of movements and “exercise” during their everyday life from walking, running through climbing etc . If you observe a day of a 4-5 years old you can see that he or she cannot stay in one position more than 10-15 minutes (except when they are sleeping :).  A child naturally does a multitude of movements during the day, climbing, running, jumping, kneeing, crawling etc.  They are naturally flexible (just ask them to put their toes to their mouth and normally no problem). A child playing is on their knees, squatting or stretching upward (to reach something).  They are doing several exercises which maintain their flexibility. Many  children have difficulty in learning to sit in a chair in a “normal” position while remaining calm in that position for an hour in school.

During our adulthood we learn to sit still for hours every day and limit our movements to  sitting, walking etc. As we participate in sports they often consist of only a few type of movements which is repeated over and over. Therefore, the muscles cannot stretch naturally through the different types of antagonistic movements and they need special care to regain and keep their natural flexibility. If you are an office worker and/or an ultra distance endurance athlete then you definitely need some additional stretching exercises to compensate the unbalanced load of your musculoskeletal system.

In the following blogs I will highlight and demonstrate the most effective types of stretching exercises.

Everyone have a great week!

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