Posts Tagged ‘Flexibility Training’

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

– Dr. Seuss

Some experts claim that stretching is a bad idea and they aren’t wrong! If you stretch too much or attempt to stretch without the right goals or proper instruction, it could lead to disastrous outcomes. Most people are unaware of the components of good stretching. Determining goals and learning what type of stretching that works best for you are most important to avoid pain and injury.

Stretching can not only prevent injury but help to promote health and wellness.

Stretching can not only prevent injury but help to promote health and wellness.

The 2 main goals to consider when stretching are whether you want to just prep the muscles for strenuous activity or whether you would like to lengthen the muscles to increase range of motion and improve movement? If you are getting ready for a work out or about to do strenuous activity the type of stretching that would be better suited for you would be Ballistic, which involves bouncing , or a short duration static stretches, which involves holding a stretch for a short period of time. You also want to make sure that you are stretching target muscles that you will be utilizing. If you are looking to improve your range of motion and optimize movement while recorrecting your posture, then you would be more suited to visit a specialist that can help teach you Static, Active Isolated, and/or PNF stretching that would include the proper movements, adequate amounts of pressure and durations, and tips to avoid overstretching.
The idea behind stretching, either for activity prep or for increasing range of motion, is to avoid injury. Stretching increases blood flow to the area which increases localized temperature making the muscle fibers more pliable and easier to reduce muscular tension. The increase in blood flow also brings nutrients to the area that assists in the recovery of muscle tissue from activity and injury. With benefits like that, it should be an easy choice that stretching is a good move, but remember to stretch smart and stretch well. Always remember to seek professional advice on stretching from professionals such as chiropractors, massage therapist, personal trainers, and rehab specialists!

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“Just when you think you know the answers, I change the questions!”

-Rowdy Roddy Piper

The profession of massage therapy is evolving everyday to expand and branch out into many different realms proving that it is a value part of healthcare. In the same manner, the art of professional wrestling is evolving to produce better action, healthier athletes, and longer careers for said professionals. I personally have reached outside the box for the typical demographic of massage therapy and entered the ring with treating professional wrestlers as part of my extended clientele.

This past Sunday, I was lucky enough to have the legendary Mike Mooneyham document the work that I have done with professional wrestling and how massage therapy has made and impact on the profession. Click the link below to read the article. Enjoy!

 

READ THE ARTICLE

Jarrod C. Fritz LMT and The Post & Courier's Mike Mooneyham. Mike is the longest reigning pro wrestling editor ever!

Jarrod C. Fritz LMT and The Post & Courier’s Mike Mooneyham. Mike is the longest reigning pro wrestling editor ever!

Have you ever wondered how it can be so easy for some people to do certain motions such as holding proper posture, swinging a golf club, or speaking a different language, when it seems so difficult for you? Maybe you are curious about how workouts become easier after a short period of time? The body has a process called Muscle Memory. Does this mean that each muscle has it’s own memory?

Muscle memory refers to brains ability to learn how do a movement, then recall those actions and send the correct nerve impulse down the spinal cord  to the neuromuscular junctions where the nerve meets the muscle telling it how to move. Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director at Quincy College in Massachusetts explains that “your brain creates pathways through your central nervous system, and movements become automatic.”
Nerve impulses follow the path of least resistance and this is why it can be difficult and even painful to learn new movements. As muscles weaken, become injured, or are put in compromised positions such as bad posture, they become bound by toxins and scar tissues that limit movement. The fewer resistance in the muscles the easier it becomes to retrain muscle memory and less painful the process will be.

A NeuroMuscular Junction is where the nerve meets and muscle. This is where the brain tells the muscle when and how to move.

A NeuroMuscular Junction is where the nerve meets and muscle. This is where the brain tells the muscle when and how to move.

Most people suggest working through the pain and difficulty, but you don’t necessarily have to take that route. Therapeutic massage and proper flexibility training helps to break down scar tissue and assists in removal of metabolic waste build up in the muscles. This allows for easier training of the muscle memory, so if you are starting a new workout, wanting to optimize your performance, or more importantly improve your posture try adding regular massage therapy and a good stretching routine into your regiment to improve your memory!

 

“Diligence is the mother of good luck ”

-Benjamin Franklin

 

It’s no surprise to anyone that athlete’s will do just about anything to optimize their performance. Athlete’s will do extended training, extreme workouts, and learn new techniques to take them to the top. Another  element that many may not consider is the use of therapeutic massage to achieve better results. The utilization of massage for athletes is not a new idea, massage has been used by athletes for many years to produce better outcome in their respective sports. In fact, “in the first Olympic games of 776 BC, athletes received massage before an event. Afterwards, the competitors would take a dip in a hot bath, receive massage and then dip in a cold bath to prepare their muscles for the next event.” There are many benefits of massage therapy that can promote an athlete’s recovery and
optimize their performance.

Whether you are enjoying a recreational adventure race...

Whether you are enjoying a recreational adventure race…

Massage is a form of passive stretching so the application will help to keep the athlete’s muscles flexible and prepared for intense work. The amount of stress and damage done to an athlete’s muscles during their activities produces waste and pain in the body. Providing massage will help increase circulation which brings fresh blood that is full of nutrients to the areas needed, which reduces recovery time. Increased circulation also helps with the removal of the harmful wastes in the body as well as decreases pain that may limit performance. Relaxation is one of the simplest and best benefits of massage this will help the athlete to calm the nervous system which reduces anxiety, improves focus, and makes it easier to sleep which helps in the recovery process. Recently, researchers at McMaster University reported that deep massage after an intense workout actually causes muscles to enlarge and grow new mitochondria! Mitochondira, the powerhouses of our cells, are responsible for converting nutrients into useful energy. This research makes it easy to see why the addition of
massage to an athlete’s routine would help them on their road to gold!

...or you are training at an elite level, massage can  help you get the gold!

…or you are training at an elite level, massage can help you get the gold!

Over my career I have had the opportunity to work with many sports of which I study the movement patterns needed for each specific sport. As a Sports Massage Therapist, one on the most important responsibilities is to identify postural imbalances and what muscles are limiting full range of motion that  would impede the needed movement patterns to be successful.  The next step is to treat the limiting muscles with appropriate flexibility training and therapeutic massage to restore and optimize the proper movement patterns that will improve the athlete’s performance and better achieve their goals.

One sport in particular holds a special place in my heart and that is wrestling. In my high school years, I wrestled for 4 years and because  of that I understand the needs, desires, and movement patterns better than any other sport. Recently, I have been asked back to my Alma Mater to utilize my skills to help the wrestlers recover quicker and improve their performance. I look at two main things that produce challenges for proper movement patterns for these wrestlers; posture and joint range of motion.

Next to Gymnastics and Dancing, I believe wrestlers have the greatest need for proper posture and increased flexibility. If a wrestler has poor posture it will lead to an unfavorable stance making it more difficult to both defend and attack as well as making it easier for the opponent to overcome and score. When a wrestler has limits in their joint range of motion, not only will it be difficult to get in to a solid stance, but it makes it much more difficult to execute moves as well as increasing their chances for injury. If the wrestler sustains a severe enough injury, it calls from immediate removal from competition which adds and unwanted amount of psychological stress that can further effect their performance. How do we easily avoid situations like these? Identify the main culprit; tight unconditioned muscles.

Treating tight muscles to release adhesions and increase flexibility of the muscle fibers will in turn lead to smother movement because of less restrictions and scar tissue that  cause muscle to “stick”.  Treatment will also increase recovery because as muscle tissue becomes looser,  blood flow increases to the local area and it is in the blood where nutrients responsible for recovery are held. Performance is also increased due to proper treatment because as you add the previous results, when there less pain then there is less physical and psychological limitations.

The amazing part of treatment like the treatment that  I use with the wrestlers is that it can be applied to any sport! The only aspect that  has to be modified is that the intention has to be shifted to the specific needs of the  restrictions to movement patterns for the specific sport being assessed.