Trainer insight of the day:
Don't forget to stretch!! Stretching can be a confusing topic of you do some research so let me make some clarifications.
First thing in the morning: to get your day started try some active isolated stretching (AIS) over static stretching because AIS is a warm up and stretch modality. Tho antagonist muscle to the one being stretched has to be activated (contracted) to lengthen the target muscle. This also uses the concept of neuromuscular reciprocal inhibition ~ when a muscle contracts the opposing muscle has to relax for the movement to happen. Yoga is good in the morning as well.
Pre-workout: use dynamic modalities that use a full range of motion and increasing amplitude such as grape vine, prison walks, lunges, hops, skips, etc.. If you have a chronically shortened muscle that is causing issues then it would be wise to lengthen (stretch) it before use for proper joint kinematics. This is referred to as corrective stretching and is done with inhibiting the tight muscle (foam rolling and static stretching) followed by activation of the opposing muscle(s) with a light resistance exercise then integrate it into a bigger movement with balance exercises and then dynamic movements.
During the workout: it is ok to stretch an opposing muscle than the one being worked for instance; you just finished 5 sets of bench press and are now doing seated rows, in between each set of rows( the opposing movement to bench press) you can stretch the chest and get a very effective stretching effect. Just don't stretch the muscle you are using as this can reduce that muscle(s) maximal output, after all stretching is supposed to be relaxing.
Post-workout: This is possibly the most important time to do soft tissue work with a foam roller for recovery and tissue realignment as well as static stretching to return muscles to resting length. This is MY FAVORITE time to stretch. In my opinion the best modality here is facilitated stretching (when somebody stretches you out for you and you just lay there and relax), but most of you don't have access to this type of stretching so some long hold, multiple set, and multiple angle static stretching is called for and will leave you feeling like you should take a nap when you are done.
Before bed: this is a time for gentle and relaxing static stretching to shed the stresses of the day by restoring length to any stress tightened muscles.
I have always believed that flexibility is the fountain of youth and makes you feel so much better in everything you do. So what are you waiting for? Stop just sitting in front of the TV and stretch during your favorite show. Take 3-5 min breaks during the day to stretch postural muscles that are affected by sitting.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that for heath benefits a full body stretching session be completed 2-3 day per week.
For more information on stretching, even if you are just looking for resources to guide you, feel free to contact me.