"We are born to be fit, strong, and healthy." Robb Wolf

October 19, 2010

"It's my opinion that most who ignore doing any warm-up movements or stretching do so because they're lazy." - Bill Starr

I know this is off the nutrition path but I think it is very important for everyone to read.

Over the past 2 years (I'm rounding up), I can honestly say that less that 15% of all CFK athletes stretch before and/or after a workout. Stretching is what keeps our muscles and joints healthy. It also helps with our flexibility and makes our recovery times faster which allows us to train harder and lift more weight. I understand that some people are in a rush after a WOD. That's fine. Life is hectic. And a lot of you say that you will stretch later. Then I talk with you the next day and the excuses start to fly as to why you did not stretch at all. You may not realize it but it's not healthy. In this day and age, I'm sure everyone owns a television. You may not sit in front of it for hours upon hours but if there is a program on that you like, spend 10 minutes during it and stretch. Heck, most commercial breaks tend to be 2 minutes long. What an excellent time to get a few stretches in. Explore your muscles and see which ones are tight. Then try and lengthen them to get a stretch. Remember to keep your abs tight at all times to save your low back and just hold 3 or 4 different stretches for 15-30 seconds each and you are done before the show is over. Then you can come back to CFK and crush whatever is thrown at you.

Our warm-ups are skill specific but some people tend to take a lackadaisical approach to the bear crawl/crab walk/inch worm complex and hollow rocks. These exercises are there for a reason and should not be done half-assed or missed in their entirety. You need to get that blood flowing. You need to learn the hollow position to help with the Olympic lifts and pressing anything overhead. Do them religiously.

I will take part of the blame for this because I don't emphasize the true value in warming-up and stretching. I know it's hard to walk into CFK and see a bunch of people just standing around and chatting. Next thing you know, it's time for the skill specific warm-up. I am proud of, and quietly applaud, those that come in and get their warm-up done right away. And I am even more stoked when I see individuals plop their asses down on the ground and spend some time stretching afterwards. More of this needs to be done and on a more regular basis.

I'll use myself as an example. There have been times where I have been religious with my warm-up and stretching routines (heck, helped me get to Calgary). AND there have been times where I have neglected my stretching and haven't warmed up appropriately. This has led to neck troubles, muscle strain in my hip, rotator cuff injury (almost healed), and now, a strained erector (a muscle that goes along the spine). It'll almost be 2 weeks since I have last worked out due to my erector trouble. I'm sure there are other injuries that I have missed. All due to the lack of attention to proper warm-up or stretching. Sure I foam roll every day but that doesn't help the muscle fibers loosen.

I don't want to see anyone with any injuries and be in pain like I am now with my back. It sucks and it's frustrating.

You might not realize it at that time (the time while warming-up or stretching), but further down the road you will PR a lift or absolutely demolish a workout and it can be greatly accredited to a proper warm-up and stretching routine after a workout.


Dan McD said...

Nice Post Dawson

I am paying for years of not stretching and it is slow progress. I have found the Mobility WOD blog to be very helpful. There are almost 60 entries but I have decided to start at day one.


Jen F. said...

One word for everyone...YOGA!!!! Once you get those hamstrings lengthened, fewer inchworms during the warmup (and many other benefits). I'm happy to facilitate a few stretches after WODs if anyone is interested....coming to actual yoga classes would help as well...:)

Mar said...

guilty as charged! guess I'm not getting a quiet applause from Dawson. I spend most of my warm up time visiting!

Foster, I'd love a few post WOD stretches and can't wait for more acro yoga!!!

Jen F. said...

YEE-HAW!! One by one, I'll make gumbies out of Kingston x-fitters.... ;)