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Release tension in 6 Minutes: How to stretch, warm-up and breathe correctly

Release tension in 6 Minutes: How to stretch, warm-up and breathe correctly
W

hy has it been recommended for so many years to warm-up before exercise and to stretch afterward with a "threat" your muscles would "shorten"? The musculature cannot shorten. Instead, it gets tense and cramped. This is how the so-called fascial adhesions occur. Now, let's get into a comfortable stretch pose and talk about when and how to stretch and warm-up correctly. It's a SPA for your body and I promise you'll learn to truly enjoy stretching. Warm-up? You don't need any before AURUM workout. Here's why.

3 reasons why you absolutely must stretch

Mobility and prevention: Stretching improves mobility in the muscles and joints. Imagine if you leave a bicycle in the basement for too long without using, at some point you'll find it rusty. Then it has to be lubricated, pumped up and refreshed. In the same way, when you move, you produce synovial fluid (synovia), which means you give your body a chance to move, the body does not get stuck and does not stiffen. If you don't stretch, don't exercise or bring any movement into your daily life, you rust like a bicycle. This leads to tension, knee pain and back problems.

Relieve pain, especially if you have tension or malposition: Back pain is one of the most common pains and complaints. Back pain, however, often does not come from the back itself, but from a certain bad posture. This bad posture is caused, for example, by sitting for a long time, standing wrong way or bending down a lot. This can come from gardening or office work. The classic bad posture: shoulders forward, round back and hips pressed forward. This leads to tension in the hip flexor, tension in the neck as well as a closed chest musculature. Therefore stretching exercises such as active and dynamic stretching are especially important.

Relaxation: Stress increases the tension in our muscles. This restricts our mobility and flexibility. Through stretching exercises you can relax your muscles and become more flexible at the same time.

Don't stretch in a static passive position

Just sitting there and waiting for the pain to subside will not help you much. It is important to work with the muscles, not against them. Otherwise it is like a rubber band that is pulled out and then spits back again. Don't just stay in the position, but actively try to tense the muscles.

Static passive would mean I sit on the floor, spread my legs and press myself against the wall. Then I stay in that position for 30 minutes until I can no longer feel my legs and then I try to get out of that position again. This variant of stretching is outdated and does not bring much anatomically either. The muscles are stretched in the 30 minutes, but since the muscles were never actively used in this length, they quickly return to their original position and the whole 30 minutes were for nothing.

Why you should do active dynamic stretching

In an active dynamic stretch - when you contract, release and repeat - the muscle is tensed lengthwise. Thus the muscle must work and can be used to its full length. The muscles do not contract immediately because the muscle has already been tensed in length. Quite in the AURUM fashion of 6 minutes and highest efficiency, we've prepared a 6-minute stretching session for you. However, you should avoid stretching directly after the AURUM HIT Workout.

The reason why you should not stretch after the 6 minute workout

Since you train at maximum intensity and the absolute muscle fatigue is achieved (which guarantees muscle and strength gain), your muscles suffer from the micro injuries and inflammation. Stretching directly after the training would expand the inflammation. The regeneration of the musculature takes longer and the HIT training produces a smaller effect. Therefore it is important that the muscle regeneration is also ensured and that no further inflammation occurs. This has been confirmed in a multitude of studies [1]. The one week for recovery is crucial for the muscle, so let it rest for a day and don't stretch it immediately after training.

Do I need to warm up?

Warming up is very important in sports such as soccer, ballet, athletics and more. For traditional strength training, it is usually recommended to warm up before.

"[...] there is no scientific evidence that "warming up" before weight training in the sense of an unspecific temperature increase in the muscle provides an additional benefit for muscle hypertrophy. On the other hand, the argument of injury prevention has been refuted several times. The risk of muscular injuries is less based on the temperature status of the corresponding muscles than on the "explosiveness" of the movement. Since the movement is performed slowly during strength training, there is no need to warm up. The situation is naturally different in sports-specific training. However, the aim of warming up there is rather to "adjust" the length of the muscle or the individual sarcomeres so that the external mechanical performance is optimized. However, this aspect is omitted in strength training," says Dr. Marco Toigo [2].

Since at AURUM we don't use weights but software controlled resistance, let's talk about that.

Why does resistance training require no warm-up before?

A warm-up at AURUM is not necessary, because the adaptive resistance works as a force right from the first second of the workout. You start with the leg press, which is the largest muscle group. This stimulates the blood circulation directly, the heart has to work faster, so the pulse rate increases and the muscles become warm. And already with the first exercise there is a direct warm up. What is also to be looked at is the way people lived and evolved in the in the stone age. When we had to run away from a wild animal, did we have the time to warm up before? You've got the answer.

When is the best time to do my stretching exercises so that I can release tensions?

Stretching exercises are highly recommended to be done on the next day of the workout. Preferably every day, except the day you come to AURUM. You will quickly notice a difference, and also how neck tensions can occur less quickly during the training. The time of the day does not play such a role. In the morning it will be more painful because the muscles are cold and have not been used all night long. In the evening after a long day, the muscles are warm, have been used and are therefore easier to stretch. By consciously tensing and relaxing the muscles while breathing, you reduce the release of stress hormones, which allows the body and mind to relax, lowering blood pressure, reducing the muscle tension and tension in back and neck, promoting mental focus, well-being and serenity, slowing down the heart rate variability.

Breath consciously while you stretch to relax your muscles and mind

Most people only breathe shallowly: Yes, you look slimmer, especially if you pull in your belly when breathing in, but most of the time you also lift your shoulders. Not good. Because you breathe into the chest and use only a small part of the lung capacity. This results in an increased breathing rate, which leads to the release of stress hormones. Better are abdominal breathing and full breathing. With abdominal breathing, the lungs can expand further than with chest breathing and the body is supplied with more oxygen.

Breathing can also influence the work of the heart and the autonomic nervous system. Through breathing we influence the variability of the heart rate, which is regulated by the autonomic nervous system and its sympathetic and parasympathetic branches. Sympathetic nervous system is active during stress and helps us to be ready to be active and efficient ("Fight or Flight") in order to master the different situations. It releases stress hormones and increases heart rate and blood pressure (cardiac output) and reduces HRV, which is necessary during training and mentally or physically stressful situations. Parasympathetic nervous system allows the body to slow down and recover when the effort is over ("rest and digest") and reduces heart rate and increases HRV to restore the body's homeostasis (balance) after the stress is over [3].

This natural interaction between the two sides of the autonomic nervous system allows the heart to adapt quickly to different situations and demands. So, take a breath (try this simple box breathing technique) - the year is almost over and it is the right time to relax and allow your body and mind to reset. So, let's get into stretch if you haven't done so yet.

Quellen: 

[1] 12 Minuten pro Woche: Der wissenschaftliche Beweis für die unschlagbare Effizienz des hochintensiven Krafttrainings, Dr. Doug McGuff / John Little, 2014 

[2] Marco Toigo liefert die neusten Erkenntnisse, Coach Magazin, 2013, https://issuu.com/coach-magazin/docs/coach_8 

[3] Herzfrequenzvariabilität (HRV): Der stärkste Indikator für Erholung und Leistung! AURUM Blog, https://aurumfit.com/blog/hrv

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