Dr. Martin's notes

Monday, May 22, 2017

Every strength and conditioning program must emphasize safety. To be safe, always start with a warm up of some kind of exercise. Stretching of the muscles that are to be worked is an exellent warm up. Warm ups have been found to be important in preventing injury and muscle soreness.
The function of the warm up is to prepare the body physiologically for the upcoming workout. It speeds up the metabolic process and gets the heart working to pump blood to the body structures, resulting in an increase in oxygen to the cells. Most warm ups last about 10 minutes and are often +/- 5 minutes. You can have the athlete on the treadmill or bike, or have them do some calisthentics or jump rope.

Stretching increases flexibility. Good flexibility is considered essential for good athletic performance and injury prevention. Stretching can be done with active or passive range of motion. All muscles (antagonist and agonist) should be worked prior to the conditioning workout.

There are three kinds of stretching - Ballistic, Static and PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromusculature Facilitation)
Ballistic Stretching - repetative bouncing motions to increase circulation into muscle groups
Static Stretching - Stretching a muscle to a point of discomfort and holding it there.
Proprioeeptive Neuro-muscular Facillitation (PNF) - Alternating stretching and contraction

Guidelines and Precautions for Stretching
The following guidelines and precautions should be incorporated into a sound stretching program:
1. Warm up using a slow jog or fast walk before stretching vigorously.
2. To increase flexibility, the muscle must be overloaded or stretched beyond its normal range but
not to the point of pain.
3. Stretch only to the point at which tightness or resistance to stretch or perhaps some discomfort
is felt. Stretching should not be painful.
4. Increases in range of motion will be specific to whatever joint is being stretched.
5. Exercise caution when stretching muscles that surround painful joints.
6. Pain is an indication that something is wrong; it should not be ignored.
7. Avoid overstretching the ligaments and capsules that surround joints.
8. Exercise caution when stretching the low back and neck. Exercises that compress the vertebrae
and their disks may cause damage.
9. Stretching from a seated position rather than a standing position takes stress off the low back
and decreases the chances of back injury.
10. Stretch those muscles that are tight and inflexible.
11. Strengthen those muscles that are weak and loose.
12. Always stretch slowly and with control.
13. Be sure to continue normal breathing during a stretch.
14. Static and PNF techniques are most often recommended for individuals who want to improve
their range of motion.
15. Ballistic stretching should be done only by those who are already flexible and/or are
accustomed to stretching and should be done only after static stretching.
16. Stretching should be done at least three times per week to see minimal improvement, between five and six times per week to see maximum results.