Stretching Can Be Like Medicine For The Body

I was listening to the Joe Rogan Podcast with David Goggins on as a guest, and he said something that I think is important for all athletes to understand. David is a former Navy Seal and an all-around bad ass who pushes his body to the max when it comes to his training. After a while of training so hard and not taking care of himself as most athletes do, he started having a lot of medical issues. He was going all around to see different doctors and do various tests to see what was wrong. No one knew! Desperate for answers he started stretching out every day and all of his medical issues went away! Wow, how crazy is that? No surgeries or expensive techniques, just getting down on the ground and stretching out to end the day. It can be a game changer for you as well.

 

Why Don’t People Stretch

Let’s start with why most athletes don’t stretch in the first place. Stretching is just not a sexy thing to do let’s be real here. It is way cooler to get in the weight room and squat 400 pounds then to say you can touch your toes.

One thing that struck me that David Goggins said in the podcast was that he was well over 6 feet tall, but his muscles were so tight it was as if they were under 6 feet tall. His muscles were caving his body in on itself.

That is what training does. Lifting and sprinting and doing all of these different things to get better makes your muscles shorter, tighter and more susceptible to injury. All of this is negative for you.

The problem is that most athletes don’t realize this. Stretching fits in the small disciplines like drinking water, sleeping right and eating well.Most athletes only start taking them when they get beat by someone who should not beat them or when they finally get injured.

Stretching needs to be your daily go to to keep your body healthy instead of only being for last minute issues. It is a change of mindset from what can I do to stay healthy instead of panicking once you’re already hurt and need help. You can never 100% avoid injury but what you can do is prepare yourself for them better.

What Is Working Against Your Muscles

In modern society, we have a bunch of things that are not helping you to keep loose.

  • Sitting down of any kind
  • Looking down at your phone
  • Quad dominant from squatting
  • Bad posture
  • Training hard day in and out
  • High-stress levels

Sitting Down

Sitting down is a death sentence for the body, and when you put your arms in front of your body and spend a crazy amount of time on the computer, it just gets worse. Sitting down immediately shuts of your glutes and shortens your hip flexors and quads. Many athletes sit down all day and then all a sudden you want to stand up and run fast or jump high which requires being open.

Sitting down also closes down the chest and just puts everything on the front of your body in a closed position. You need to spend time reversing this issue because when your hips are tight, it leads to back and hamstring problems.

Looking Down At Your Phone

The amount of time we spend looking down at our phones makes us hunch and causes us to put our upper back and traps in a constant stretch. It is not healthy for us to be in this position long. It also collapses our chest and makes our shoulders and chest tighter than we ever want them to be.

The position causes even more issues for males who love to bench press. They spend all of their time getting their chest stronger and tighter and sitting in this closed off position which just creates even more issues.

Quad Dominant From Squatting

Most athletes are dominant quad meaning they work their quads more then they work their glutes and hamstrings. When you combine this with sitting and tight hips it just creates a horrible situation. The entire back side of your body is weak and shit down, whereas the entire front side is overworked.

Bad posture

You see more people now with hunches in their backs today simply from looking down at phones so much, slouching in chairs and so many other problems. There used to be a time when posture was trained, and it was expected to be considered to be civilized. We don’t do that anymore, and we don’t know hot sit or stand properly anymore, and our bodies are paying for it.

Training too Hard

I remember at one point in high school; I was training so hard that I got a lesson in muscle tone. My muscle tone was so high that my legs did not jiggle at all when realized they were just like cement blocks. That is high muscle tone, and that is usually due to long periods of intense training.

Intense training is breaking your muscles and body down, and you want to do everything in your power to stretch during these times. The reason why is stretching helps you to relax, and it teaches you to focus on deep breathing which also helps you to relax your body and recover.

High-Stress Levels

You always need to keep a lookout for when your stress levels are too high. Your body can’t tell the difference between physical stress from training, or mental stress from studying a lot. You need to be aware of when life is stressing you out a bit more than normal. A lot of times stress will make your psoas tight and throw your whole body out of whack. Stretching is a great way to help fight this stress.

 

How to Stretch Properly

A key to stretching out propely is understanding that the body is complex and connected. A lot of times we are taught anatomy bit by bit and muscle by muscle but we forget that it is a system and all these systems of our body talk with each other.

The same way that athletes always do more multi-joint movements in the weight room like cleans, bench, and squats compared to single joint exercises like a bicep curl. When you stretch, you want to act as if the body is one muscle. In the picture above you can see how every stretch is hitting multiple muscle groups because they all connect to each other.

The stretch in the bottom left corner, for example, is stretching the hips, quads, abs, chest, and the biceps all at one time. Instead of just stretching the biceps by themselves you are getting the entire body working together.

Go and Change Your Life

Stretch three days in a row, and you will feel a MASSIVE difference in your body. You have nothing to lose, just try it. It does not matter if you are injured, stressed, ill or not. Stretching will help you feel better and feel more confident in yourself. When you finish stretching, you will feel your mood improve right away.

Stretching may not get you cool points, but it shows you have the dedication to be successful. You are willing to do the mundane things to get yourself in a good position to succeed. You have to reverse the damaging effects of sitting down looking at cell phones, training hard and just living life. Your muscles need to move with fluidity and flexibility. Stretching will change your life. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

    Leave A Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *