We can’t just stretch the tightness away….
Our structural limitations might be unknown due to our skewed perception of tightness. So before we go stretching our restriction away, we may want to consider our lifestyles and training habits.
Our body adapts to the everyday positions we find ourselves in, think desk job, standing excessively, or repetitive movements. Our bodies then rebuild themselves through remodeling the muscle and connective tissues over thousands of hours. The lack of variability throughout the day sculpts us into feeling tight.
Typically improper load management and impatience with training progressions can make the tissues a little pissy. The capacity of the tissue (ie. strength or endurance) is breached, resulting in injury, overuse, or just straight lock down. This can happen all at once or progressively over weeks without you even noticing.
Stretching won’t solve our injury woes or make us more mobile….
When we breach your tissues capacity, bad stuff happens. Most injuries happen within our midrange of motion. Having an excessive amount of flexibility may affect our relative stability within that range. Instability may increase the likelihood of injury.
Mobility needs strength. Having the ability to pry our bodies into unimaginable positions may be nifty, but when we get wrapped up into a pretzel, what then? Flexibility is a passive range of motion, and doesn’t prevent us from having a bambi on ice moment.
Stretching can make you feel better and more flexible….
When we place a force on a tissue we create a stimulus. With repeated efforts we will yield an adaptation and the body will become better at dealing with that force. So we can increase our ‘stretch tolerance’. The deeper we are allowed into these ranges can help blood flow to the surrounding tissues. Connective tissue barely gets enough nutrients as it is.
Through this ‘stretch tolerance’ we can acquire passive range of motion or ‘flexibility’. This can improve our access to new ranges, like opening a door. If we want the opportunity to move that way, we have to be able to get our bodies into that position first.
Stretching is a great start, and only a piece to the mobility puzzle….
Improving access and feeling better is always great. The next step must involve a variety of strengthening principles to utilize that access and continue feeling better, performing better.
Mad Mobility will take us through the first step, and every one after that.