3 Stretches Every Outdoor Athlete Should Do Daily
This three-minute routine will make you faster and stronger and help keep you injury-free.
Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com
“Stretching” Is a Myth
It’s all muscle contraction. Just different types of muscle contractions that activate different fibers in alternate directions and dimensions against varied types of loads, whether static or dynamic. But it’s all muscle contraction. Why is that important?
I spent most of my life believing in the false exercise-stretching duality. This false belief, among many others, was a major obstacle on my journey to fitness.
Only Metabolism Matters
The reason it’s important to leave behind the false duality of exercise vs. stretching and recognize that it’s all a matter of muscle fiber activation is that muscle fiber activation involves the mitochondria which is the calorie-burning machine in each muscle fiber. The more mitochondria you activate the more calories you burn in the short term and the more you activate for long-term non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which is the scientific term for all the calories you burn in the activity of living when you’re not working our.
Deep Core Eccentric and Twisting Motion
It’s no surprise then that these essential “stretches” all involve eccentric contraction (lengthening) and twisting motions of the deep core muscles. The muscle mass in your deep core contains the greatest concentration of muscle fiber and mitochondria for fat-burning and it’s also the most neglected area in most conventional gym workouts which tend to focus on repetitive linear peripheral core-stabilize mid-range isolation moves.
This is why you can get much more of a metabolic “bang” for your effort if you focus on eccentric and twisting moves that contrast sharply to the typical intense tightening cycles of concentric contraction which is typical of most workouts. Simply activating those fibers that never get activated you are increasing core strength and stability, agility, metabolic burn during exercise, and after-burn.
When You’re Ready For a Real Challenge
The moves illustrated here are pretty basic – when they become easy for you you can try these more advanced deep core eccentric and twister moves that will really kick your metabolism into high gear.