WHY YOU NEED TO ADD STRETCHING SESSIONS TO YOUR WORKOUT MIX
STORY: Amelia Pavlik
PHOTO: Jay Boatwright
Running, spinning, yoga—these are just a few of the workouts that might be part of your weekly routine. But have you ever thought about adding a good stretch with a licensed professional to the mix? “A lot of times when you stretch, you won’t push yourself deep enough into the stretch to get the most benefits, or you aren’t able to feel the stretch in the muscle that you want stretched,” says Jordan Keane, the regional stretch coach for Motion Stretch Studios. “Having a professional guide you through the stretch means that you don’t have to guess if it’s safe and effective.”
Motion Stretch entered the fitness scene in 2017, providing one-on-one sessions ranging from 30 to 60 minutes of myofascial stretching focusing on up to four of the key areas of stress in the body. Today, the company has locations popping up across the country, including Buckhead. Here’s what Keane has to say about the importance of a proper stretch.
What are the top benefits of stretching?
Regardless of whether you’re stretching on your own or being stretched, doing so will help with range of motion, decreased muscle tension and improved blood flow. All of these combined will lead to faster recovery after workouts and decreased risk of injury.
How often should someone stretch?
We recommend that our clients initially work with one of our coaches once or twice a week for 30 minutes to get started. If they’re disciplined about stretching and foam rolling on their own, they may be able to continue a maintenance plan of once every other week or maybe a 60-minute session once per month. Everyone should aim to do some form of light stretching daily and always after strenuous activity.
I always say that if your focus is on workout performance, you should stretch more before. And if your focus is on recovery, you should do more after.
What are the biggest mistakes people make in terms of stretching?
People spend too much time on static stretches, like touching their toes, and don’t get into the muscle tissue with myofascial stretching, using a foam roller or lacrosse ball. Also, they may not be stretching the right muscles. For example, if someone’s hamstrings are tight, a hamstring stretch might not resolve the problem, because tightness in the calves, hip flexors or glutes might be part of the issue.
MOTION STRETCH STUDIO
3655 Roswell Rd.
3 STRETCH MUSTS
Here’s a trio of stretches that Jordan Keane recommends be part of everyone’s workout routine. Hold each for 30 to 60 seconds.
1. Calf stretch: Standing an arm’s length away from the wall, bring your right leg one step back. Keeping your heel on the ground, lean your hips toward the wall until you feel a stretch in the right leg. Repeat on left side.
2. Hip flexor stretch: Go down into a lunge position with the right knee on the ground and the left leg forward (put a rolled-up towel under your knee for a cushion). With your hands on your hips and making sure you keep your hips square by drawing your stomach in and squeezing your glutes, bring your hips forward until you feel a stretch on the front part of the right leg. Repeat on left side.
3. Pectoral stretch: In an open doorway, bring both arms up onto the door frame with your elbows bent at 90 degrees and your palms facing forward, and then slowly step forward through the doorway.