As coaches, we are always thinking about the health of our clients. Part of any fitness journey is to move and move well, otherwise injuries can occur. If a client doesn’t have the range of motion to do the big exercises, like squats and deadlifts, it’s going to be a big obstacle in reaching their goals, as they are such staples in any program. So mobility is a big deal, and while stretching isn’t everything, it certainly plays a large role in it. In this article, we’re going to be talking about how stretching actually works and how to apply it effectively, making the most of your and your client’s time.
So we’re talking about stretching, but it’s important to note that we are never really ‘stretching’ a muscle. These tissues don’t actually get longer the way we tend to think they do. We aren’t a body of just machinery or elastic that we can simply pull and change the configuration of. The way a muscle actually changes its overall length is more associated with the nervous system. We’re talking about the relationship of the machinery to the brain, so attempting to create change here is going to have to involve some things called proprioceptive neuro-muscular facilitation and motor control. Confused? Stick with me, I’ll explain.
So there’s a crap tonne to learn out there and no one knows it all, but that doesn’t mean we just leave it all together. Being a coach is hard work. We have to have a knowledge base that spans multiple professions. It can be daunting, but I’m a firm believer that if we develop ourselves with this fundamental theory, it can be applied across all of those avenues. From nutrition to exercise and even understanding stress, anatomy and physiology is the base we need to effectively help anybody. People are paying us good money to be trusted with their health and it would be an injustice to simply program an exercise just because “if it works, it works”. If we can understand the mechanism of why, then we can be more effective at programming and more effective as coaches.
Stay tuned for more!