your must-do pre-activity ritual, part 1

In General by Adam Friedman

In last week’s message, I shared three nightly stretches for you to try.

So how’s it going?  Have you started to form a new, body-loving ritual?

In a perfect world you’d be batting seven for seven, 52-weeks per year.

But, as we all know, the world is less than perfect. And that’s okay. Don’t let a missed day or two stop you from becoming the best version of yourself.

Everyone has a different set of priorities and life circumstances. It’s your commitment to your goals that sets you apart. It’s your choices that dictate your ability to develop and sustain proactive habits.

In this case, it’s choosing daily stretching as your opportunity to improve your joint health. And it increases your potential as an Athlete For Life.

Like any new habit you’re trying to form, a daily stretching routine can be challenging to put in place. But I know you can do it. And I’m here with you every step of  the way.

To build on last week’s message encouraging you to do these 3 stretches to do every night, I want to move on to a PRE-ACTIVITY RITUAL that you can use to prime your body for action.

It’s a fact that preparation breeds successful outcomes. The following mobility rituals will promote that.

Foam Rolling. This is a “Search & Rescue” mission to help free up your muscles and connective tissue. It improves their ability to act, react or relax as needed for optimal performance. This helps you achieve better mobility, which in-turn will benefit your performance in your chosen sport.

Corrective Stretching. It’s the nature of sport to have repetitive movement, which causes imbalance in your body. This imbalance is compounded by poor posture and incorrect movement patterns. Some imbalance is fine to a point, but beyond that it becomes a liability.

Building strength on top of imbalance only reinforces it. This is not good.

The focus of Corrective Stretching is to isolate and relax shortened muscles created from repetitive physical stress. The goal is return them back to an ideal length before you start your workout. This allows you to train and strengthen your body in a balanced state. Doing this daily lowers the risk of injury and promotes long-term optimal function.  

Dynamic Stretching. This series of multi-joint exercises is fluid in motion. They better prime the body for performance than do traditional stretching exercises with static positions. The movement should start off slow so that you can feel where you may be tight in your body and focus on these areas. Then you can pick up the tempo to stimulate your nervous system to complement the speed and tempo of your workout. This is key for quick movements.  

The combination of these three methods of stretching allows your body to work in sync.  Only then will you be able to make the most of your effort.

That’s why I include them in all of my programs for athletes, including my “30-Day Get Lean Challenge“.  Check it out.

And take a look at “your must-do pre-activity ritual,” part 2 here.

Here’s to your commitment to your enhanced mobility.