The Importance of Post-WOD Stretching

by Christie Leclair April 17, 2017 0 Comments

Men seem to be the most resistant to stretching. For some reason, being tight and pumped after a workout leaves guys feeling good, and not in the mood to cool down. Unfortunately, there is good research to show that there are benefits to stretching out after a workout. Especially for those guys who can’t squat to depth, or have a hard time shoulder pressing completely vertical.

Science and Stretching

The science behind stretching and why it is important has changed over the years. Rather than seeing it as a way of getting more flexible, which is not usually a priority among gym goers, stretching should be viewed as a part of your recovery.
 
Remember that exercise is just the tool, and the rest and recovery is when improvements and changes take place. Recovery is the most important part of working out. After your WOD, you have challenged and crushed every single muscle in your body. All that contraction leaves the muscle in a sort of paranoid state. It is tight, shortened, and the nerves are stimulated, ready to fire at any moment. This is fantastic for your health; challenging muscles to get stronger, tighter and more coordinated. On the other hand, walking out of the gym and going to sit in the car, or sit on your sofa just leaves the muscles to cool off in a shortened state.
 
There is a subtle difference in the recovery from these workouts compared to if you spend 5 to 10 minutes stretching. Stretching lengthens the muscle back to normal. The lengthening allows circulation to improve, helping the body systems to flush out toxins which build up during your workout. This helps manage soreness and stiffness in the hours and days after each workout.

 

Post WOD Stretching

Where to Stretch

Not every single muscle needs to be stretched. Focusing on the big muscles and big groups is best; hips, shoulders, chest and back. If you have issues with limited mobility in certain areas, pay attention to those muscles in particular.
 
The general population is tight in their hip flexors due to perpetual sitting! Glutes and lower back are also often problem areas. For men, tight pecs and lats can get so bad that it causes an inability to move freely with arms overhead. Any of these areas being too tight can lead to injury down the road as other muscles and joints compensate. Pick one or two good exercises for each area.
 

How to Stretch

Post workout stretching should be a static stretch, held for about 30 seconds. That is the classic, “reach and hold still”. The sensation during the stretch should be slight to moderate. If you feel any degree of pain, you are likely pushing it too far. Over-stretching to the point of pain actually makes the muscle react by shortening even further.
 
Dynamic stretches with bouncing or rocking are also effective to some degree. However, we usually recommend using moving stretches to help warm up muscles. Save these for the warm up, as it gets the muscles firing.
 
Check out different ways of stretching to find out what you prefer and what is most effective and comfortable for you. Taking those 5 to 10 minutes for post-wod stretching can go a long way in the long run!





Christie Leclair
Christie Leclair

Author

FD Bulsara, BSc is a competitive athlete in Olympic weightlifting and a student in Osteopathy. She coaches private and group fitness classes and freelance writing about her passions: fitness, health, sport, nutrition, weightlifting, CrossFit, injury prevention, pain relief, injury rehabilitation, and the latest research on all these topics! She is a dog person and spends free time training at the lake. Find her atwww.4myhealthnow.com.



Also in PNP Academy

Training Stimuli: Managing Volume, Intensity, and Recovery
Training Stimuli: Managing Volume, Intensity, and Recovery

by Christie Leclair June 23, 2017 0 Comments

Properly stimulating your muscles is a precise science and application of volume, intensity and recovery to achieve optimal results. Too much or not enough volume and/or intensity without enough or with too much recovery and you wont get the results you want. In this article we cover how to find the right balance between these three to hit your specific goals.

View full article →

The Most Common Weaknesses In Athletes. . . And How To Fix It!
The Most Common Weaknesses In Athletes. . . And How To Fix It!

by Christie Leclair June 19, 2017 0 Comments

For athletes working to reach their peak potential in performance, there can be a verity of areas that keep them from getting to the high level of performance they’re trying to reach. However the single most common weakness athletes face are weak glutes. In this article we cover how to identify weak glutes, strengthen them and get you on your way to peak athletic performance.

View full article →

Managing Muscle Soreness Post-Workout
Managing Muscle Soreness Post-Workout

by Christie Leclair June 01, 2017 0 Comments

Muscle soreness is something every person who trains deals with. From the beginner to the professional athlete, understanding what post-training muscle soreness is and how to manage it will go a long way in your training, recovery and overall athletic progress. In this article, we what post-training muscle soreness is, what causes it and how to manage it.

View full article →

SIGN UP

TO GET 10% OFF ON YOUR FIRST ORDER, THE LATEST ON NEW RELEASES AND MORE. . .