Have you been trying to find time to stretch & still getting nowhere? This article talks about why stretching the way you are stretching is not helping.
Why stretching is not increasing your flexibility
For most of us who have tried stretching & not getting anywhere, it's because of one thing, it's your central nervous system. Flexibility isn't about how tight your muscles are, it's about how much your current state of CNS is. Wherever you are in flexibility, you know for a fact if you have been allowing the body to move freely in every single vector possible, in the fullest range possible or not. If you have been quite the sedentary lifestyle sitting at least 5 hours a day for the past months/ years, then your nervous system will start to be efficient in doing just that. Your muscles will shorten & not allow any form of deep stretches & so will contract the spindles in the tendon & muscles to help you avoid any injuries it may encounter, simple as that.
Thus most times when we stretch religiously, your body just won't let it happen, it becomes either too painful doing simple stretches or you get bored & tired from going nowhere, so you just stop, & accept life's fate with your body. It doesn't need to be so, you need to stretch smart, to help encourage it to move & release the muscles spindles in your body, you need to stretch it using mutli-planar(multi directional) motions, breathe throughout and engage certain muscles in a specific manner so that you are able to rewire your nervous system telling it that it is safe to release as you are very stable throughout the motion. Plus point is that your body now will realise that it has more room to move around(you're creating a bigger house for the nervous system!).
How your COG affects your mobility
Stability also plays a part in how your body tightens up! Your brain pre-calculates everything which includes your COG(centre of gravity), & depending on how balanced you are, it makes adjustments accordingly to ensure the integrity of your body is to its best outcome to avoid falling & staying upright against gravity. Learning how & where your body currently is, is the most important factor to starting any programme, be it, stretching, resistance training etc as it will help you understand where to stretch more or less. Essentially, you will be allowing your body to shift to its optimal COG, thus the change in posture is almost visible for everyone who is either shifted or rotated. Changing your COG will help your nervous system calculate if it allows for any form of tension release or it will make necessary adjustments. Posture will change, pain decreases, performance increases, recovery time between sports shortens & wellbeing will always follow this track. Stretch smart not hard!
What does Mobility & Sticks have to do with each other?
In the fitness & health industry, people are constantly trying to find new innovative ways to stretch, move & move better with the help of tools. With the bendable sticks, you can now immerse your body in different stretches with different vectors around a joint to help improve mobility & function of your body. In Singapore, there is only one place to exclusively offer this class "Sticks", & you can assure yourself that you will not only be stretching but working to engage the tissues to ensure that they know what to do to restore functions!
Benefits of stretching with Sticks
While most stretching classes encourage you to stretch a muscle & holding the position for 30-45 seconds, it's not the best type of stretch to do. It's also known as static stretching & it has been shown in quite a few studies that static stretching is not the best for elongating the tissues. Dynamic stretching on the hand, is a more functional way of loading the soft tissues and joints to encourage elasticity & excitability of the muscles that attaches to the bone, through the range of motion. Dynamic stretching is not the same as ballistic where you bounce at the end range of motion, which may produce the opposite outcome of safe & effective stretching session(it may cause more injuries if done under little to no knowledge of stretching physiology). A simple example of dynamic stretching would be whilst you're doing a chest flyes & you're going through the full range of motion on the stretching/ lowering part of the movement. Dynamic stretching(under low loading) allows for faster recovery in between your workout session, help improve athletic performance(sports specific), decrease injuries, improve posture, decrease pain & aches in your body. The stick also allows easy adjusting for individuals who are at a different height & build.
What does the Sticks class entail?
There is many thing that happens during the session which may include:
In some special classes with sticks, you will be exposed to the meridians/ anatomy chains & other types of outlook in the body systems.
Rotation is Key
In life, we do most of our daily activities, if not everything, in rotation if you haven't realised. From rotating your neck to look back, while driving, running, walking, kicking, punching, sleeping & rolling around to gardening & so on! Lacking a rotation in your body will result in lowered quality of daily activities as now your range of motion will be shortened and thus compensations will happen throughout your body, which may lead & present itself as pains & aches in your body. Our body needs freedom of motion & when it doesn't get it, gets irritated, restricted, & may be inflamed due to faulty mechanics. We need to still carry objects over our head, lift, pull & push to live, & when this cannot be accommodated, pain sets in. Your COG(centre of gravity) will start shifting and constant pulling of your connective tissue will provide nothing but strained tissues. One more important thing that you need to be aware off is your blood flow to many vital organs may be affected as well, such as your diaphragm & visceral portions of our body as they get little to no movement via stretching & movements, which creates a blood pumping effect throughout the body to get nutrients rich blood & oxygen to the whole body, & to even clear out any waste metabolic by-products to keep the body healthy.
How a mobility class like Sticks can help your body be better
If your lifestyle takes you from 9-5 weekly & you may gym here & there, with the occasional weekend leisure physical activity, or you hit the gym 3-5 times weekly doing the same routine for the past 6 months then you will hardly be taking your body into a more functional range of rotation so to speak. Most injuries happen in the end range of motion & it's especially true for rotation. When your body goes through a torque between the upper & lower body and lacks that kinetic chain elasticity, the tissue tension along the line of the torque gives way and your connective tissues being that its not been exposed to that extreme or end range of motion, under dynamic environment with little to no control, is when injuries are likely to happen. In the sticks class, that is exactly what you would be doing, to expose your body in the end range of motion, move & reintegrate muscular tension for full control of your body to allow it to learn deceleration process under controlled, static/dynamic induced movement. In certain positions, it helps you stretch your visceral organs & its attachments, help you free up the ribcage to allow more mobility of the ribs to help breathe better, free up any restrictions of your kinetic chain & much more.
Remember if you have any current medical conditions that you need to consider attending the Sticks class, you can always ask your family physician, or speak to one of our qualified staff.