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Benefiting from stretching

Updated: 3 days ago

A balanced approach

Stretching can be beneficial and has its place in any well-balanced fitness program that also includes strength training. As mentioned, healthy joints rely on a balance of strong and flexible muscles to create stable mobility.

Dynamic stretching, characterized as stretches held for less than 30 seconds and commonly known as mobility training, is the primary type of stretching I use in my work and recommend in warm-ups before strength training or other types of fitness and sports activities. Vinyasa or flowing yoga generally consists of dynamic stretches. Longer-held static stretches of 30 seconds or more should be reserved for cooldowns or recovery days. #stretching

When leveraging stretches for targeted issues, it's crucial to ensure there are no contraindications and maintain a balanced approach. This approach, when applied to issues like low back pain related to tension, can bring significant relief. For instance, a combination of stretching and strengthening, like the breathing bridge exercise mentioned earlier, can provide a blend of strengthening and lengthening benefits. Alternatively, rotating between exercises such as child’s pose to elongate low-back muscles and forearm plank to reinforce core muscles and enhance low-back stability, can also be effective.

While stretching can feel good, it's important to remember that, when it comes to increasing flexibility, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. By empowering yourself with the knowledge of the cause of your muscle tension and howngth and flexibility, you can avoid unnecessary pain and injury, and truly take control of your fitness journe it relates to a balance of strey to move and feel your best.

stretching your body

Systema Stretching

Systema, a Russian martial art, incorporates various principles, including breathing, relaxation, and fluid movement. While not as rigidly structured as some other martial arts, Systema does include stretching as part of its training regimen. However, the approach to stretching in Systema is often more dynamic and fluid compared to static stretching commonly found in other disciplines.

In Systema, stretching is typically integrated into warm-up exercises and drills. These stretches often involve movements that mimic the natural flow of the body, focusing on loosening joints, improving flexibility, and promoting relaxation. Dynamic stretching, which involves moving parts of your body gradually into a stretched position and then releasing, is often preferred over static stretching, where you hold a stretch for a prolonged period.

The aim of stretching in Systema is not just to increase flexibility but also to cultivate a sense of relaxation and suppleness in movement. This approach aligns with the broader principles of Systema, which emphasize adaptability, efficiency, and fluidity in combat situations. Therefore, while stretching is certainly a component of Systema training, it is integrated into a larger framework of movement, breathing, and mindset development.

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