The goal for any isolated stretch you do should be to relax the target muscles and restore them to their optimal length. The goal is to promote the full range of motion of a target joint or joints.
Your muscles can then deliver their full force potential with every contraction. And do so with the least risk of soft-tissue or joint injury during performance.
I’d say that’s a pretty powerful incentive to get the most out of each stretch you do. Wouldn’t you?
But I see too many people miss the mark on this by doing the number one proven productivity killer … multitasking.
The most obvious example is the “stretch & scroll” combo. Maybe you’ve seen it, and maybe you’ve done it.
I’m here to interrupt this counterproductive habit of using your phone while you stretch. And outline the important parameters that will have a direct impact on your results.
First it’s important to accept that you are no different from anyone else in that a distraction is a distraction. And you shouldn’t settle for mediocre results in an exercise that impacts your ability to perform at a high level.
Impatience, a short-attention span, laziness, or being uncomfortable with being uncomfortable? You need to move beyond these tendencies.
Because they are not qualities that will serve you in your quest to be an Athlete For Life.
Start by noticing yourself anytime you create a distraction during a stretch, and stop it.
Now that your attention is back on your stretch, you can focus on using the right technique. In combination with a mind-body focus on the targeted area.
The right technique depends on a variety of factors such as whether the stretch takes place before, during, or after your workout. It can also depend on the health of your soft-tissues, and how well your nervous system adapts to stress.
Within each technique there are certain parameters to follow that make all the difference in terms of the results you desire.
3 Parameters that make a stretch effective and efficient
- Effort level
- Body position
In the next articles, I cover these in depth so that you can have a better understanding of the how and why. Start with Duration here.
Keep in mind that there’s only one time that smartphones and stretching go well together. That’s when you follow along my instructional exercise videos in the Athlete For Life App.
That’s because with my Search and Rescue Mobility (SARM) program, I will teach you all the parameters that are a guarantee to better results.
Get yours here.
As always, stay athletic.