The Wonders Of Static Stretching 2016

A Thrilling 2016 Reboot with Matt Lazenby, personal trainer in Edinburgh, inconsistent yoga practitioner and blogger!

Many years ago (nearly 5!) I wrote an epic trilogy of posts on the Wonders of Static Stretching. You can still read The Wonders of Static Stretching – Part One, The Wonders of Static Stretching – Part Two and The Wonders of Static Stretching – Part Three by simply clicking on the links! 🙂 The videos in The Wonders of Static Stretching – Part Three are looking a bit ropey now though and so I thought I’d shoot some new ones 🙂

Static Stretching Overview 2016

When I wrote TWoSS Part One I was a staunch advocate of stretching – “I love stretching and stretch my full body after every workout. Here in Edinburgh personal training clients of mine stretch after every workout and it should come as no surprise that I recommend you stretch after every workout too :)”

While I still enjoy stretching myself from time to time I no longer stretch after every workout. Neither do my personal training clients.

How To Breathe When Static Stretching

I wrote this in 2011 and I stand by it today 🙂 “I personally recommend taking slow, deep, relaxed breaths when you stretch. Inhale through the nose as you GENTLY EASE (stretches should always be eased into slowly) into the stretch , expanding the abdomen not the chest (I do this to a count of 3); hold the breath (I use a 3 count here too); then exhale through the nose (or mouth) while gently easing gradually deeper into the stretch (another 3 count); hold the breath (again to a 3 count) and then repeat the cycle as many times as you wish, finally completing it by easing out of the stretch as you exhale (still keeping with the 3 count).”

Static Stretching – Performance Notes

If you are going to stretch I do still recommend stretching at the end of your workout, after your cool down. Ideally, it is best to perform a stretch that isolates a particular muscle group but it’s almost impossible to stretch some muscles without also stretching other supporting muscles. By stretching in a certain order you ensure that the supporting muscles are never a limiting factor in how “good” a stretch you can attain.

I still recommend stretching in the following order – fingers/hands/forearms, triceps, shoulders, chest, biceps, back, sides, glutes/bum, inner thigh/groin, quads/frontal thigh, calves and finally hamstrings.

Static Stretching – The Videos

Here’s the all new 2016 videos to illustrate the stretches I use! 🙂

Start with this stretch for your fingers, hands and forearms.

Now move onto your triceps. Focus carefully and take care to stretch your triceps and not pull on your shoulder.

Next up is your shoulders. Take care to stretch the muscle and not yank your shoulder out 🙂

With your arm and shoulder already stretched you can now move onto your chest. Ease very carefully into this as it’s quite an extreme stretch.

Next up is back. Take care to keep the focus on your back and not to yank your shoulder out of its socket 🙂

With your upper body done let’s now sit down and shift the focus to your lower body, starting with your glutes/bum.

Your groin/inner thighs are the next area to be worked. Again be extra careful here as it can be quite an intense stretch.

Next up is the most well known of all these stretches, for your quads/frontal thigh.

Next up for me are hamstrings. This is my favourite stretch 🙂 I pay really close attention to easing really gently into it. I push my hips back before unrolling my spine, starting at my lower back and moving up through my upper back into my shoulders. I also take a lot of care to easing gently out.

Coming Soon!

More ramblings! I’m not entirely sure what about to be honest but I’m sure they’ll be entertaining! 🙂 In the meantime follow me on FB (and please ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ my posts; I know it’s a pain in the arse but it makes a huge difference to my ability to feed myself!) and drop me an email if you need anything! 🙂

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