Stretching – how to mobilize your body
LEVEL: BEGINNER – PROFESSIONAL
Achieving higher performance results – the way to your goal is related to various intense weight and endurance workouts and trainings. The importance of a good mobility and flexibility is often ignored. Obviously you won’t change the appearance of your body through stretch and mobility sessions – exactly why this part of a well balanced exercise programme is not as “sexy” as the rest.
I prepared the following exercises:
- Shoulder External Mobilizer
- Arm Line Stretch
- Upper Body Mobilization
- Lat Stretch
- Leg Stretch
- Hip Flexor Stretch
The main aim of the following stretching exercises is to stretch the myofascial structures, that often tend to contractions. Before your regular training, try to do a rather active-isolating stretching with a short holding period of only 2 seconds. For relaxation it is better to do a static stretching with a holding period of 30 to 60 seconds.
Stretching to reduce stress! A long and static stretching, where you hold the stretch for more than 45 seconds, has a calming effect on our central nervous system. This is why this form of stretching is not recommended before your workout, but is ideal for a rest day or after a stressful day at the office to calm down and relax.
Attain more flexibility!!!
- A short holding period of 2 seconds in order to avoid decreased blood circulation.
- The moves shall be light and easy to prevent the myotatic reflex.
- 6–10 revisions of each stretch
- I recommend an active exercise introduction
- Support by an elastic band is also highly recommended (max. 5°)
- Make sure to make use of a calm respiration for a full relaxation.
Shoulder External Mobilizer
Objective: Improvement of the flexibility of your lateral rotation
Start Position: Put the elastic band close to the trunk around your arm. Catch the band with your hand behind the body. Now you can pull up your elbows above your head.
Exercise execution: Try to fix your elbow above your head with your other hand. The opposite shoulder will move forward and determines the stretch.
Coaching Key: Be careful and start slowly with minor movements to avoid injuries.
Arm Line Stretch
Objective: Lowering of the muscle tension and improvement of the arm line mobility
Start Position: Fix the elastic band above shoulder height (use a powerband of letsbands.com) and grip it with one hand.
Exercise execution: Shift your body weight slowly but safely forward, until you feel the stretch. Put the free arm to the back to increase the stretch.
Coaching Key: Tighten your buttocks and “ribs to hips”
Upper body mobilization
Objective: Improvement of the shoulder, hip and thoracic spine mobility/ flexibility
Start Position: Position yourself in the lateral position. Fix the elastic band around the foot of the lower leg. Stretch the band and place it over the lower shoulder
Exercise execution: Put the free hand as close to the floor as possible.
Coaching Key: Pull your upper leg in the hip flexion and leave it on the floor.
Objective: Decrease overall muscle tensions and improve your mobility
Start Position: Stand parallel and hold the upper body parallel to the floor, make sure there is enough tension on the band.
Exercise execution: Use your pelvis to increase the tension.
Coaching Key: Relax your shoulder muscles.
Objective: Improvement of the gluteal muscle and leg curl mobility
Start Position: Position yourself in the supine position. Fix the elastic band around the foot. The opposite hand grips the band and the other hand remains flat on the floor.
Exercise execution: The leg that is caught in the band shall be pulled towards your shoulder. The pelvis shall be fixed on the floor. To increase the stretch, make use of the band.
Coaching Key: Both shoulder must remain on the floor during the whole stretch.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Objective: Improvement of your hip flexor
Start Position: Halfway down on your knees, with the elastic band around the thigh of your back leg
Exercise execution: Try to tighten your abdominals and gluteal muscles to raise your pelvis to the maximum. If the stretch shouldn’t be enough, push your pelvis slightly forward.
Coaching Key: For a strengthening of the stretch you can simply extend your arm towards the ceiling.