This week's "Exercise of the Week" is a series of three flexibility exercises. This method of training increases your strength, performance, and balance, all while reducing aches, pains, and your chances of getting injured. Flexibility training will ensure your ability to train long term, which is crucial not only for fighting, but for all aspects of life.
Ever notice that the first thing you feel when waking up in the morning is stiffness? Without flexibility training that stiffness will lead to the hardening and shortening of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, making poor mobility, and injury almost certain. This is especially true as we age.
However, flexibility training is the "grease" that keeps our bodies moving. You should train flexibility before, and after workouts, as well as a stand-alone workout on its own day (i.e., Yoga day).
There are three different methods of flexibility training you should use:
Warming up before workouts should include active-isolated stretches. These are range of motion movements that you would perform for 5-10 repetitions and hold for only 1-2 seconds. An example of an active-isolated stretch is the Supine Biceps Femoris Stretch seen below:
Cooling down after workouts should include static stretches. Like the name infers, these are stretches that you are going to hold for a period of time (static). You would perform these stretches for each exercise with a 30 seconds hold. An example of a static stretch is the Lying Forward Fold Hamstring Stretch seen below:
For advanced folks with no flexibility issues, dynamic stretches should be done after active-isolated warm up stretches. You would perform these stretches for 10-15 repetitions, for about one second each. An example of a dynamic stretch are the Leg Swings seen below:
Let me know if you have any questions Also, if you’re looking for exercises to target a specific body part, ask me and I will post it for you in an upcoming video.
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Until next time, Stay Fit!
Sincerely, Lawrence Castanon,
Author, The Short Fight