Static Stretching- the cool down

Stretching Beyond the Call of Duty

It is a long held belief that static stretching (stretches held at the point of limitation for a few seconds) prevents injury and improves athletic performance.

Several Studies reveal, stretching immediately prior to exercise result in decreased muscle activity and force output. There is no evidence to suggest pre activity stretching contributes to improvements in athletic performance or athletic injury

However, stretching at other times i.e. after exercise or through out the day is beneficial in producing long term gains in muscle length. Maintaining or restoring muscle length promotes reduction in joint stress, muscle imbalance, inco-ordination and avoids disruption of biomechanics and force production.

Don’t skip another cool-down !

A flexibility program should be specialised to each individual and incorporating exercises that address:

• Specifically identified tight muscles and the anatomical limitations

• The range of motion required for the specific activity or sport and required physical demands.

Against popular belief Resistance training has been shown to have a positive influence on flexibility. If:

1. Full range of motion is trained

2. Agonist and antagonists are include (muscles on both sides of a joint)

3. Stretching is included in the program

An effective static stretching program should include one stretch for each body part, held for 30 seconds at the first point of tension and completed a minimum of one round once per day. And never before exercise.

Four weeks of this regimen has been proven to yield flexibility changes.

It is important to work on flexibility to maintain the length tension relationship of the muscles and to ensure optimal joint range of movement and function.  Stretching also facilitates muscle recovery.  The following is a cool down stretching routine.


3 Essential Six Pack Exercises

How to get  six pack Abs?

The simple guide to a great mid section:

1. Lean Abdominals– this comes with a clean diet, and regular exercise
2. Abdominal Thickness – without muscle thickness there will be no abdominals to show through the skin!

The following are 3 exercises you can do at home:

  1. Reverse Curls
  2. Deep Dead Bugs
  3. 1/2 Curls

Gluteals Of Steel

What are gluteals?

Buttocks are not just for sitting on! Without attention these muscles quickly waste away leaving flat, droopy butts.  Allow me to introduce you to:

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Gluteus Medius, and
  • Gluteus Minimus!

Why do we need them?

Not only is this not esthetically pleasing but the gluteals are a powerful hip extensor and weakness results in significant power output decreases.  Without good gluteal muscles to perform the hip extension needed in getting up from a chair, climbing stairs, walking, running, and cycling, other muscles are forced to compensate particularly the muscle of the lower back and hamstrings leading to injury and muscle pain.

3 Intermediate Core Exercises using the Fitball

The Core Muscles

The core muscles of the Transversus Abdominus (deepest abdominal muscle layer) and Multifidis (deep muscles in the lumbar spine) are essential to maintaining control, strength and protecting the delicate structures of the spine from injury.  After injury to the spine, or abdominal muscles, these Core Muscles may either be delayed in their action or absent.  After an initial period of isolation exercises, these muscles are then challenged in more dynamic and unstable movement patterns.  Thus assisting return to sport, work or activity.

The following is an example of

3 Intermediate Exercises:

  1. Superman
  2. Pike
  3. The Runner