Proper Flexibility Training is the first thing that is missing from the majority of training programs. The days of “old school” static stretching before competitions are over. A sound Flexibility Training Program can improve strength, speed, agility, quickness, injury prevention, and vertical leap.
In this article I will introduce you to 3 methods of Flexibility Training; Self Myo-Facial Release, Active Isolated Stretching, and Movement Preparation.
Self Myo-Facial Release is a form of flexibility usually associated with the Foam Roll. The Foam Roll is used to massage micro-adhesions from the fascia of muscles. It can be performed before and after training sessions. Each muscle should be rolled out for at least a minute, with special care given to tender spots. You would hold on that spot with the foam roll for 30 seconds. Self Myo-Facial Release has also been proven to help in recovery and regeneration when implemented post workout.
According to Aaron L. Mattes, inventor of the Mattes Method of Active Isolated Stretching, this type of flexibility “is an important part of warm-up, warm-down, training or rehabilitation. Specificity is important to achieve maximum circulation, oxygenation, relaxation, lymphatic circulation, nutritional deliverance, and tissue elongation.” Active Isolated Stretching focuses on 2 second holds in each stretch, and uses antagonist muscles contraction to stretch the targeted muscle.
Movement Preparation is a form of Dynamic Flexibility, or stretching through movement. These movements are best implemented before workouts or athletic competitions. This technique best prepares the athletes body for intense activity. According to Gray Cook, “Simply put, there are three areas covered in every exercise: stabilized static stretch, dynamic movement with stabilization, and balance drills to address left-right symmetry. The stabilized stretch helps increase muscle length and basic posture and pattern proficiency, the dynamic movement functionally prepares the body for complicated movements, and the balance drills ready the athlete for using both sides of the body as well as red flag any posture problems. In all, movement prep will enhance the mobility and stability needed to execute movements with greater control, strength, power, and balance.”
To see the above mentioned techniques, as well as movement preparation go Steve Krebs’ Fitness Blog mentioned below.
These three Flexibility Techniques will guarantee improved performance, and injury prevention. When all three are implemented, you will have a sound, functional, Integrated Flexibility Program that can be used for any sport, or workout session