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Coach Robb
Coach Robb is a human performance expert that helps amatuer and pro-level riders perform their best, focusing on diet, fitness, and mental conditioning.


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Don't Stretch Prior to Exercise

Posted by Coach Robb , January 01, 2015 · 6,528 views

Don't Stretch Prior to Exercise I posted another video that I did back during the summer about this subject and it created quite a disturbance with a few of you! Please watch this slightly more detailed video about the importance of a warm up prior to exercise.

I am confused why some think that this concept is BS? When you think about how the body protects itself (keeping the majority of the blood in around the heart and spine while resting) why does sport specific exercise at a low intensity prior to a workout so far fetched? If you try to bend anything that is cold, it is more prone to snapping - think about this.

To test the stretch reflex that I am discussing put your right leg up on a chair and lock your knee out and bend over and try to touch your toes. When you feel that "strain" behind your knee you will understand the stretch reflex. When you add sport specific movement, the muscle tissue warms up (because of friction), the blood vessels open up and the muscle's is more receptive to stretching and increasing it's range of motion.

When you watch professional athletes stretch, they don't stretch until they have implemented some sport specific and/or dynamic movements first.



Please post any thoughts - concerns or questions that you may have regarding this topic. I picked up injured athletes from other coaches who "stretched prior to exercise" and actually tore the tissue they were striving to lengthen - and I don't want this to happen to you! I have been doing this type of work for 29 years and have never had someone become injured from stretching when they preceded stretching with sport specific exercise, dynamic movements and foam rolling.

Yours in sport and health,
-Coach Robb


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In my experience, people calling it BS do so due to definition of terms. I think it's the "exercise" in the statement that throws people. I think some might understand it better if it read "Don't stretch prior to warm-up". It's nuanced, I know. 

 

For example, I do a lot of martial arts. I would never walk into my Muay Thai or Judo class and stretch out cold. As you pointed out, it's asking for an injury - cold things are more likely to tear or pop, not stretch. But we commonly do some light warm-up/conditioning drills, THEN stretch out and then get into the meat of the workout (exercise). I do the same thing on strength training days. I'll warm up with 10 minutes of jump rope and/or some other calisthenics and then I will stretch PRIOR to lifting. 

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When I would get a pain in my lower back, I would try to bend forward and stretch down to my toes.  Lots of times I would actually make my lower back pain worse, but just figured it was because I had not been stretching enough in general.  Finally figured it out with helpful articles like this one from Robb, that I needed to warm up before doing anything...then stretch afterward. I also stopped getting the Flu when I stopped getting the Flu shot every year.  Some things work for some folks but not others.

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Absolutely true.

I was competing in track and field and sculling (single shells) back in secondary and prep schools, and it was absolutely imperative, essential to warm up very well first and then stretch. First of all, take a slow warming up by jogging for a few laps, or a mile. Relax, drop your shoulders and allow your muscles to engage gradually. Don't run in jumps and leaps like a showboating basketball player, don't throw your feet and knees up in the air, and carry your hip joints parallel to the ground. Roll your feet heel-to-toe, use your legs as suspension to reduce impact to the joints (not too criticals for us- girls, but it is certainly for guys with bigger upper bodies).

Proper posture, technique and relaxation vs engagement should and will prevent form any back pains.

Make sure you wear warm-up suit (unless of course you are somewhrere here around PHX or LA, in comfortable 80 degrees plus), to be sure your muscles stay warm and flexibile. Cold muscles are more prone to injuries, common physics.

Only after getting completely warmed up you can stretch and proceed with other training modules.

 

Gives me aches just watching those so called runners everywhere on the streets, jumping out of their cars and starting their stretches, especially in cooler temps.

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Coach Robb, Thanks for posting this video.  Your advice and information make sense.

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Hey guys - thank you for taking the time to read and post your comments!  Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

-Coach Robb

100% with you. You warm up prior to exercise, which may include stretching after warmup.

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masterblaster1998
Mar 17, 2015 08:44 PM

Coach Robb, Thanks for posting this video.  Your advice and information make sense.

+1 coach rob. im implementing this as i am in prep for Western Australian enduro series (ORCWA) in my first year of seniors (under 23's)

 

it really helps mate thanks :banana:  :aussy:

  :worthy: coach rob

masterblaster1998

Masterblaster1998-please keep me posted on your progress and race results!

-Coach Robb

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About Robb

Coach Robb has been working with riders & racers since 1987 and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance Program, the Mental Blueprint of Success, MotoE Amateur Development Program, MotoE Educational Series & Nutritionally Green Supplements based out Orlando Florida.

 

http://completeracingsolutions.com/

 
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