The Most Important Thing About Stretching

Comp_Nut_Now_products_page_coverStretching is an important part of virtually every fitness program.  Until recently, most experts recommended that people stretch before exercise.

However, when it comes to stretching, most people are surprised to find out that stretching does NOT prevent injuries, especially for athletes and competitors (1).

Equally alarming is the fact that a certain type of stretching can detract from our strength.  The form of stretching called static stretching, which is performed by holding your body in a fixed position for 30-60 seconds, can decrease your strength output if done immediately BEFORE exercising (2).

So, if stretching does NOT prevent injuries, and static stretching decreases our strength performance when completed immediately before exercise,  why bother with any flexibility training?

Well, a certain type of flexibility training can help you feel better, alleviate soreness, perform better and may decrease your risk for injury.  It’s called self-myofascial release.  Learning self-myofascial release is the most important thing we can do for stretching.

From over a decade of experience training clients, I’ve been teaching clients how to do self-myofascial release techniques with a foam roll. And, approximately 90 percent of them benefit from it.  Prior to beginning a workout, using the foam roll helps to optimize blood flow to improve fitness performance, alleviate pain and improve flexibility.

GoFit Ultimate Foam Massage Roll with Training Manual- 1 ea
If you don’t have time to work with a trainer, you can find home version foam roll and DVD packages like this one on line.

If you’d like to learn more about the foam roll and how it works, check out Keep on Rollin’.

For a free Ebook on Foam Rolling with specific exercises, click Muscle Mauler MAX ebook.

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(1) American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Stretching before a run does not necessarily prevent injury, study finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2011.

(2)  Scandinavian Journal Medicine Science Sports, 17:54-60,2007.


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About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is the true health guy. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT & Wellness Writers, a subscription wellness newsletter service that incorporates live & virtual wellness workshops for companies across New England. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 20 years of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 25 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his wife) founded Wellness Writers and deliver evidence-based Wellness E-newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various businesses throughout the US. Dave currently serves as a personal trainer in Tolland as well as a wellness coach and writer for several businesses, gyms and wellness facilities throughout the US.

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