What we strengthen, we must lengthen – our instructor Rachel, takes you through the importance of a good stretch and making the most of our massage sticks.
“Stretching helps improve your range of motion which may also slow the degeneration of the joints. Healthier joints decreases the likelihood of injury.
Stretching helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains. After a hard workout, stretching the muscles will keep them loose, as well as lessening the shortening and tightening effect that can lead to post-workout aches and pains.
Stretching improves circulation which is great for many things! Bad circulation results in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients which also means your muscles won’t recover as well after exercise. Good circulation also creates more energy-efficient movements which improves overall performance.
Stretching BEFORE a workout prepares the body for the stress of exercise. It allows the muscles to loosen up and become resistant to the impact they are about to undergo.
Stretching your hamstrings, hip flexors and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine which in turn reduces the risk of low-back pain.
As well as stretching, rolling your muscles is highly advised. Don’t underestimate the cumulative effect of a little stretching, or rolling here and there, daily. The trigger point massage sticks are perfect for this as they travel with ease (compared to a foam roller). The sticks are used as a dynamic-reactive instrument designed to segmentally compress and stretch muscles. By rolling over your muscles you will be able to identify trigger points and sore spots.
A typical warm-up would be about 20 progressively deeper rolls passing over the desired muscle groups. This will help the athlete warm-up by increasing blood flow and circulation. It also aids in getting the muscle tissue to “wake up” and be ready for activity. As a cool-down tool, simply repeat in rolling out the desired muscle groups or sore spots which helps flush and cool down muscles. This is still helping with circulation which again helps with recovery.
As a therapeutic device the massage stick is used to break down trigger points, relieve pain, increase range of motion, promote flexibility and accelerate the recovery process.
Think of it as your toothbrush for your muscle. A couple of minutes a day will keep the physio away!”