There is a big debate in the Personal Trainer community. And one of the biggest questions asked is if stretching is necessary. I would like to give my take in a few examples on this hot topic. In the early years of exercise or even sports. Stretching was part of a warm-up or a cool down. It was a way to prepare for an athletic event or training session. As more and more research was done on stretching. Many researchers found out that could hinder progress or even hurt the athlete. There are two forms of stretching static,this is where you hold the stretch for amount of time. And then there’s the other which is mobility stretches which is called active stretching. Active stretching is taking the muscle to a full range of motion and then back without really holding it no longer than a second or two. Besides static stretching which can be used for medical reasons such as someone coming off a broken leg or in a physical therapy situation. Static stretching is when the trainer takes about the stretching for the client. Actually meaning you’re forcing the muscle to a stretch position. This can be dangerous in normal healthy people that just have minor issues where flexibility and range of motion.
As a personal trainer, I use mostly the active stretching in my fitness program. This is the safest form of stretching that of personal trainer can give a client in their fitness program. To give an example of a hamstring stretch that usually done lying while the personal trainers kneeling straightens the client’s leg straight and gives them enough tension so they feel the back of the hamstring being loaded are stretched. This can be dangerous if the client is not ready to receive that amount of attention in the certain muscles stretched.
To give an example of what I do. In my in-home clients.In her apartment gym studio in Boca Raton, Florida. I give them active stretching which is they stand straight. They hold on to a stable object with one hand and they take their leg and they swing it back and forth until they get a mild stretch on the side that they’re moving. Of course that’s stretching is done in the hip area and the hamstring. This way the client takes it to a healthy range that they can manage without overdoing it. Active stretching is very popular because it increases range of motion and is also an active component to it which researchers found out is beneficial to greater improvement in range of motion.
Michael Metchikian CPT,CES,NASM
Michael practices personal training with his clients in homes, apartments or gym of their choice. He practices many scopes of exercise such as strength training, mobility and flexibility, balance, Pilates and yoga-based exercises along with physical rehabilitation. Michael’s goal is to help his clients be pain-free an active life.