How often do you stretch?
Did you know that stretching is the number one neglected activity at most health clubs for strength trainers? To help members who strength train become mindful of doing flexibility exercises, I developed the SWAN. An acronym for stretching willfully and naturally with a towel from head to toe. (see image below showing head to toe stretches) The easiest way to remember fitting in flexibility exercises.
Dynamic or Static Stretching?
Warm up dynamically stretching slowly gradually increasing motion while maintaining posture. Cool down gradually to static stretching. The key to quality stretching is to keep your body posture in check throughout the stretch.
Poised gracefully at ease with increasing intensity while never compromising your spine. So rather than pulling you down from feeling the weight of gravity, think of your body as lightly lifting upwards pulling you into balance.
Ease into increasing intensity with static stretching holding your most challenged position for as long as you can maintain your posture. reverse directions and work opposing muscles.
Hold times range from 5 - 60 seconds noting that longer time results in greater active range of motion. Keep in mind your muscles should feel balanced so your agonist (primary) and antagonist (opposing) muscles work harmoniously. When a group of muscles work together to optimally perform a given motor task this is known as a muscle synergy.
Agonist and Antagonist
Agonist – The contracting muscle that is directly involved in producing a certain joint movement used to complete the desired action. In a Bicep Curl, the primary muscle used is the Biceps Brachii muscle.
Antagonist – The opposing muscles to the targeted muscles used to complete the desired action. In the Bicep Curl, the opposing muscles are the Triceps Brachii. The function of the antagonist muscles is to assist in balance, control and to support the joint the muscles surround. This means that for most movements there is always a certain amount of antagonist activation.
How to Create the Swan Towel and More
Learn the steps to make a swan from your towels to make a beautiful display as well as reminder to stretch. Watch the video below and see different styles as well as other towel designs.