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You should stretch too, right?

You should stretch too, right?

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Ahhhh ... the tiresome subject with the flexibility. It's healthy when you hit the ground with your hands in front - can't you do it? Tsss tss tss, shame on yourself! Heard many times, nowadays we don't say anything anymore. Of course you should stretch if you have a shortening! But if not, ask back: why?

Flexibility

Do you miss the mobility from your youth? Or are you afraid of shortening your muscles through intensive strength training?

In the literature, mobility or flexibility is often mentioned as the third factor in the fitness equation. This means that in order to be or become fit, there should be stimulation of the cardiovascular system, strengthening of the muscles and healthy mobility. With the High Intensity Training , or HIT, at AURUM you can achieve all of this with just one workout. But what exactly happens to your muscles during training and why exactly HIT?

Increased mobility VS. improved / healthy mobility

First of all, it must be said that flexibility like in youth is not necessarily desirable. That may sound strange at first, but it is just to make it clear that we are going through age-related and growth-related changes in our lives. In our youth we are flexible not only because we are extremely active, but above all because our bones and joints are still growing.

In the hip joint, for example, the head of the thigh is seated in the acetabular cup and since it is still smaller at a young age, there is greater freedom of movement. This is one of the reasons why it is difficult for us to take extreme positions such as the balancing act in advanced age.

Now there may be a few of us who say, "But with regular stretching or stretching I will surely get back to my former flexibility". That may be true, only with a constant load in extreme joint positions you will not only regain your mobility, but also ensure increased wear of the joints and in the worst case also a new artificial joint at some point.

Therefore, the following should apply:

  • Desirable should not be the highest possible, but rather better or improved flexibility
  • This is achieved through resistance to the safe extremes of the range of motion of a muscle

The right strain on the muscles and joints through strength training

There is still often a voice in our heads that tells us that strength training is not good for our mobility and that we absolutely have to stretch afterwards to stretch our muscles again. This misconception comes from years of disinformation. A. Faigenbaum and colleagues showed that this information is not correct in the 1990s . They proved that strength training in adolescents greatly improved mobility. Further studies such as that of W. Wescott (1995) confirm this assumption and also point to the enormous advantage of strength gain - it can be demonstrated that optimally exercised strength training addresses at least two components of the fitness equation.

Important when performing the exercises:

  • Movement should correspond to the natural functioning of the muscles and joints
  • Resistance is moved over the full range of motion, extreme flexion (end point of flexion) to extreme extension (end point of extension)
  • Muscle must be resilient at the safe endpoints

What happens with improved flexibility through AURUM strength training:

Either the range of motion is increased, but the range of motion can also be limited.

A good example is the shoulder: most problems in the shoulder come from too much flexibility in the rotator cuff. When building the muscles involved, there is improved stability in the joint, which can slightly decrease the range of motion.

Under no circumstances should you stretch after the AURUM training!

Stretching does not improve mobility, but puts muscle and connective tissue (bones and tendons) in an uncomfortable position, which manifests itself in a "pulling" and is not exactly healthy, especially not after a HIT training in the optimal performance range. Because the muscles were extremely stressed by the training and needed enough time to repair the damage necessary for a positive adjustment. If we now stretch the muscle in its recovery phase, we pull apart the damaged structures and do not bring about faster recovery, better mobility or flexibility. On the contrary, we delay our recovery phase further and risk injuries because the muscle is very vulnerable after a high load.

Your Tobias

Sources:

[1] Study: A. Faigenbaum, L. Zaichkowsky, W. Wescott et al., Effects on twice per week strength training program on children . 1992, full article: Much better range of motion than control group.

[2] Study: W. Wescott, Keeping Fit , Nautilus p.5-7, 1995: 48 test persons over a period of 8 weeks of strength training without additional stretching exercises improved flexibility of the hips and torso additionally improvement of muscle strength by 50%

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