How we move in training will ultimately dictate our injury potential or success. The training industry too often sacrifices flexibility and range of motion for joint stability. We are in a time where high volume training is perceived to be normal, the attitude more is better is the way forward. Sadly, low volume training has now become non-existent. With high volume training comes increased injury potentially, shortening tissues, decreasing range of motion, neural issues, damage to inert tissue and the risk of irreversible damage.
A question I ask all my clients is, do you stretch? Once we break down their relationship to flexibility I then ask the question, how many hours per week do you commit to training that increases tension and how many hours per week do you commit to flexibility or a form of recovery including massage that decreases tension? For the majority they will train 5-8 hours per week and if they are lucky they will commit to 1 hour per week of stretching. That is an 8:1 ratio of training that increases tension verses 1 hour of flexibility training that decreases tension. This ratio imbalance will create dysfunction whether you like it or not.
Length imbalances can be address numerous ways. Transformation Inc will be running regular yoga sessions as of February. Yoga can be a great way to increase length and decrease injury potential. A great article I suggest you read is Lazy Man’s Guide to Stretch by Ian King. In this article you will find upper body and lower body routines you can implement before training.
I often speak to people about their health as poor nutrition and lifestyle can also increase injury potential as joints degenerate and the body no longer functions optimally. The most common excuse I hear is I cannot afford to be healthy and it costs too much. If you can’t afford to be healthy, try being sick and injured! The same goes for flexibility. Most will make the excuse they don’t have time to stretch. If you can afford to take time of work to see a physical therapist to rehabilitate your injury then you have time to stretch. I’m sure I won’t make too many friends by say this but it is reality.
If you train 4 hours per week commit to 1 yoga session per week and 15 minutes of stretching pre training for 8-12 weeks and listen to your body and how it responds.
Written by – Dan Marshall