Why stretching matters

If  world class athletes, gymnasts and weightlifters are stretching, why aren’t you?

Stretching is essential to allow muscles to perform at maximal capacity

Being able to produce muscle force through a large range of motion can be the difference between shrugging off a close call and spending weeks or months in painful rehab, because your muscles and bones can’t handle the shear force.

I’m not talking about the old school methods of touching your toes a few times before and after training (this is about as useful as trying to carry water in a bucket full of holes).

I’m talking about moulding your body into larger ranges and producing force throughout their entirety.

The physiological properties of human muscle mean they can be shaped and remodeled by being placed under tension for long periods of time. Additionally, by adding external force (weight) into the mix you can speed up the process and find ranges that were once only a dream.

Think of touching your toes. Now think of touching your toes but holding a kettlebell in your hands while you do it. Feel that extra strain in your legs? That is going to help your body remodel the tissue and force it to be comfortable with producing force in that new range of motion that you’ve found. (Obviously slow and steady wins this race and only progress to what your body will allow).

Want to be able to sit in a deep squat and be comfortable? Find a way to counter-balance yourself so that you can maintain the position without falling over. (Grab onto a pole or use a kettlebell). Sit here for at least 2 minutes a day for 2 weeks and notice the ease in ability to squat that depth on demand. This time under tension with added force production is allowing your body to be pulled into positions it is so often trying to fight.

Try these for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest for 2-3 minutes.

Jefferson Curl

The Jefferson Curl lengthens hamstrings and releases the many muscles of the spinal column

Deep Squat

Deep squats increase hip and ankle flexibility

It can also make you a very effective and efficient metabolic machine. As we know, the more fibres and cells we utilize, the more we will have to repair and grow. Which requires energy and ultimately means your metabolism will have to work harder, meaning you don’t have to be so anxious about that extra coffee you had this week.

Brandon Hasick is a Sports Scientist, movement coach and owner of BodyByBrando, a group fitness studio in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Brando holds a passion for helping ordinary people achieve extraordinary results with their bodies with his ultimate goal to help as many people  understand how they can build a better body that functions at optimal capacity day in and day out.

Brandon Hasick

"Brando Hasick is one of Sydney's hottest new trainers. A qualified Sports Scientist and movement coach, he is now the proud owner of BodyByBrando, the newest group training studio in Sydney's Eastern Suburb, Paddington. Brando is the epitome of hard work and endless determination, and despite loving to occasionally "drink pale ales until the sun comes up," he leads a balanced lifestyle and an infinite passion for helping people achieve a body free from restrictions. Brando’s sole objective stands to help ordinary people achieve extraordinary results with their bodies and he has already earnt a remarkable reputation within the fitness industry, now training alongside the likes of Commando Steve and Michelle Bridges."

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