The workouts are going great, now what?
Something I haven’t done enough of is stretching, before or after my training, or just in general.
I’m 42 and not as loose as I used to be. Being a 40something is no excuse for inflexibility, it just takes work. Honestly, it’s not that difficult. You just have to work it into your training. Even 5 minutes a day can work wonders. Just like exercising, 5 minutes is better than 0 minutes, 10 better than 5; you get the picture.
Another thing that I’ve learned is that there is a difference in stretching and joint mobility. While I’m about to probably over generalize, they both play a big part in functional movement, which should be what we all strive for, functional strength and movement. What good is it if you can bench 350 lbs, deadlift 450, but can hardly touch your toes because you’re so tight? Good flexibility will help avoid injuries. I’m looking into different ways to learn more about joint mobility.
I got some nice stretching and movement tips when I had my Kettlebell lesson last month from Michael Spain at Summit Kettlebells. Nothing earth shattering, but he gave me some moves that will help keep my hips and hammys loose, which will help aviod injury and just help me move in general. Tight hips, or hip flexors can be debiliatating, lead to back pain and decrease your general movement. We sit so much now, weather it’s behind a desk, or behind the wheel that it’s important to pay attention to those parts of your body. You don’t have to check into a yoga class and spend hours getting loose. Just a few minutes a day will reap great benefits.
Something else I just started using is a Foam Roller. One of the first questions that my coach, Sandy Sommer, asked me, was if I had one. I had sent him a list of all the strength and conditioning equipment that I had available. I didn’t include the roller, but it’s important. Being tight can get you hurt when you’re training. Check this video clip from Todd Durkin on recovery and rolling.
He posted this on Facebook a few weeks ago and I took it to heart. It’s a great video on the why and how to roll. I especially like the tennis ball on the foot. I tried it with a golf ball and it works nicely too. The nice thing about the foam roller is that it really helps lengthen your muscles out and will work on the muscle fascia better than just general stretching. Think getting a deep tissue massage. I’ve some mobility issues with my left shoulder and rolling on my upper back and sides really seems to help with the mobility.
A roller isn’t that expensive. That Grid one Todd used is about $40. The regular ones can be gotten for around $20. A small investment that can pay big dividends.