Fixed in a warrior pose for what seemed an eternity, my legs started to burn, my face contorted, I needed to get out of this pose, the instructor walked over, slapped me and said ‘show no emotion.’ I relaxed my face and continued on.
This had a massive impact on my training, and more importantly how I stretch.
It’s now fashionable for trainers to recommend not contorting your face while stretching; my yoga instructor was onto something all those years ago.
When you tense up your stretch reflex fires and you’re just fighting against yourself and not really allowing any muscle lengthening to take place.
Apart from ‘showing no emotion’ below are some tips to get the most out of your stretch routine.
- Get an evaluation to see what needs to be stretched. Stretching an already flexible muscle can do more harm than good.
- Do it every day, all day. If your hammys are tight and you think stretching for 30s at the end of class is going to help you’re mistaken
- Like a hippy, learn to focus on your breath, it really does help.
- Get a Sports Massage
- Find an awesome coach.
If you'd like to find out more, myself or one of IFC’s Sports Therapists, Physiotherapists, Sports Scientists or Coaches would be happy to help.
See you in the gym.