Why I Don’t Do Static Stretching

Static Stretching

Static stretching has long been abandoned as a pre workout warmup but should we also abandon it post workout? There is a lot of evidence that supports the idea that we should!

Now when I say static stretching I am referring to exercises such as bending over and touching your toes where you aren’t moving or exploring range of motion. We often go through these stretches with no real purpose and no real minfulness for the task at hand. Static stretching will increase your flexibility sometimes but it is not the most efficient in increasing your range of motion or teaching your body efficiency in the running motion.

Mobility exercises like the ones I have talked about in previous posts, often involve exploring the running range of motion such as the couch pose pictured below.

Static Stretching

There are also dynamic stretches that explore your sport specific range of motion – think of a dynamic warm up! You have leg swings, hip flexor pulses, fire hydrants and many other variations that work on activating the muscle as well as increasing mobility. I’m a big fan of working in the running specific range of motion and doing everything you can to improve your overall efficiency.

Then there’s yoga as well which takes all of these elements and incorporates core strength and breathing – I love yoga because it forces you to think about what you’re doing while you breathe and while you move. It’s not about sitting in a stretch and lengthening that muscle it’s about building strength in motion and building range of flexibility in all three planes of motion.

Is static stretching going to hurt you? Not necessarily but there is some evidence that excess stretching can lengthen the muscles too quickly. The point of this post is that there are a lot better ways to get more bang for your buck when talking about injury prevention and increasing your range of motion.

I will continue this idea in later posts but for now if you have any questions you can always reach out to me on Twitter, Instagram or drop by my Anthrophysique page.

Happy Running,

– Justin

Muscle Soreness – What to do?

online fitness coaching - muscle soreness

If you’ve ever done strenuous activity, you’ve probably had muscle soreness from it. It can actually be really easy to get at times, but the question becomes how do I get rid of it and how long should I be resting before I workout again? In this video, I talk about the two types of muscle soreness and whether or not it’s good to workout.

Muscle soreness is a very common part of exercise if you’re challenging yourself properly. For some, muscle soreness is actually the reference point for whether or not they’ve worked out hard enough. Regardless of how you get it, it can be a very painful experience. At the very least, it’s definitely not pleasurable.

In my opinion, there are two types of muscle soreness. I’ll classify them as good soreness and bad soreness. Good soreness is when you’ve worked out hard and you feel it the next day. There’s discomfort in moving around but not a lot of serious pain. Bad muscle soreness is when there is a lot more pain. It can be very challenging to move around, especially after being stationary for a while. This is because there has been a lot of micro-tearing of the muscle fibers and they’re needing repair.

The question now is: should I workout, or should I rest?

With good muscle soreness, it’s actually beneficial to workout. The movement of the muscles and blood flow to the area will help reduce the tightness.

With bad muscle soreness, you likely want to rest those muscles. It may take up to a week or more for the muscles to fully heal. However, that doesn’t mean you need to stop working out completely. Do workouts that involve other areas of the body and avoid the muscles that are in pain. The exercise will still increase blood flow to the sore area and help the recovery process.

I’d love to hear your experience of this and if it worked for you. Also, I’d love to hear if you have other tips for reducing muscle soreness. Please share in the comments below.

Sleeping Beauty

Blog #10 ~ The Jane Experiment

I love sleep. I love to nap. I love it all.

Usually when I’m tired, or lethargic, or low energy, I assume I’m sleepy. So I take a little cat nap; 25mins to an hour usually does it.

But lately as I’ve been measuring and documenting my food, I’ve also started measuring my sleep. (both with iPhone apps!) And I’ve noticed that food actually gives me energy! And, maybe, those times when I’m sleepy, it’s because I’ve forgotten to eat, or I ate sugar and then crashed. Totally news to me that all that was related.

This may seem like common knowledge to most, but I’m really starting to see the correlation between what I put in my body, how I treat it, and then how it delivers and behaves.

I still enjoy a great nap and a good nights sleep, but with my spastic schedule it is good to know that there are other ways to energize myself. Lots of people drink coffee or green tea, or do jumping jacks. I want to find/create an optimal state of having just enough sleep, plus eating the best food for me and my body and lifestyle.

The general ‘rule’ of 8-9 hours of sleep sounds so lovely and awesome but feels closer to a fairy tale most of the time. Of course, sometimes after a long day I feel like I could sleep for 100 years…

When there are so many things we want to do in a day, how can we optimize our sleep and eating to best serve us? I’ve noticed for myself that I’m likely to sleep less when there are more ‘fun’ things to do in my day. Being on set, having a hot date, etc.
There must be a way to motivate myself into that energy, even when all I have to do in a day is get up and go to work. That’s something I’d really like to find.

As I’ve been working out more, and monitoring eating in and around the workouts, I’ve noticed there seem to be ways to stay more awake and present while sweating and exerting. Feeling jazzed afterwards, not exhausted. Protein, water, and less sugar seem to be a few I’ve attacked with my measuring stick of curiosity.

I remember once hearing that sleeping burns calories, and that really enforced my love of sleep! Of course it doesn’t burn as many as running, but it is important to keep our bodies going.
When I get just the right amount of sleep and a great breakfast I feel so rested, healthy and full of energy! Doing the research and talking to Chad about how to use this effectively is beyond helpful, slowly I’m making my life more regular.

What are your sleeping patterns like? Is it best for you to keep the length somewhat normal, or the same? Does that even effect you?
It’s so interesting how each of our bodies and systems are so unique!

Hope you all have a fun and restful weekend! Check out some sleep apps, or even noting when you go to bed and wake up in Evernote can be helpful. I put it in with my food diary.
Jane
xoxo

 

Working with Physio

I’ve been training people for many years now and I’ve dealt with a lot of injury rehabilitation. Working in partnership with Physiotherapists is common when it comes to injuries and the two together can be very beneficial. I currently have a client in this boat trying to fix an old injury. She is doing her training with me but also seeing a physiotherapist a couple of days a month.

If you’ve ever been in this situation, it’s important to make sure your trainer and physio communicate so they can work together. In a very general sense, trainers will work on the bigger muscles and larger movement patterns while physio’s will work on the smaller muscles and movements. Yes, it’s all in the same body, but if you don’t get the two working together, they can actually cause more harm than good.

Constantly working larger movement patterns without concern for the finner ones can lead to further problems and compensation. Instead of fixing the issue, you end up just working around it or building over it. It’s the short cut way to dealing with injuries and never works out in the end. Communication between the physiotherapist and trainer is the key to a successful recovery.

Working together allows everyone to be on the same page and have the sessions compliment rather than oppose each other. It also allows you to fix the problem and build up new strength at the same time. Bottom line, if you’re in a rehabilitation phase, make sure your trainer is working with your Physio to optimize your success.