Posts Tagged ‘Flexibility’

7 Forms of Yoga for Strength Athletes

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Think you are too Swole to do yoga? Think again fool!

Mr T

Studies indicate that yoga combats common ailments of modern man such as depression, osteoarthritis, and stress. By fighting off these diseases, we have a better chance of recovering from intense workouts and illness.

The practice of yoga involves the union of the mind, body, and spirit. It is a combination of breathing, flowing movements, stretching, endurance, balance, and even strength training. Most of the commercial yoga you find in western culture tends to prioritize the physical benefits, although the best instructors will teach you how to maximize the mental and spiritual benefits as well.

My favorite yoga forms are those that stretch my back, legs, and abs; as well as those that help to strengthen my legs and improve unilateral balance. Any weight lifter knows how tight the shoulders and hips can get, and yoga is a huge flexibility tool.

Yoga’s benefits were realized by many eastern civilizations hundreds and even thousands of years ago. The hardest part is knowing which style of yoga to choose, so here are 7 common forms of yoga. Choose the one that best fits your lifestyle, or try them all.
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Always Stretch Before You Train

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Should Bodybuilders Use Static Stretching Before a Workout?

Isometric Calf Stretch

It’s such a simple component of your workout routine that you may not even think about it. You might just automatically hit the mats before you train, to stretch every muscle group for 20 seconds. If you haven’t been reading Project Swole or other popular fitness blogs in the last 5 years, you might even think this practice is good for you. Think again.

If you have been reading fitness blogs, websites, magazines, or keeping up to date on regular fitness news, you would know by now that this myth has been debunked. It has been decided with 100% assurance whether you should or shouldn’t stretch before weight lifting. So what is the final answer?

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How to Swim Faster

Friday, February 26th, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

So you want to be a dolphin. Or perhaps you want to be a competitive swimmer. Or maybe you just want to swim faster.

Unless you are really lucky (or would that be unlucky?) you probably weren’t born with webbed feet or toes, so you will have to look at other ways to increase your speed in the water.

The best way to increase your swimming speed, is to increase the flexibility of your ankles. Flexible ankles act like flippers, which will help to propel you through the water faster.

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How to Maintain Flexibility

Sunday, February 21st, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

Keep your muscles limber by holding static stretches for 30 seconds if you are under 30 years old. For every ten additional years of your life, you should add 10 seconds to your stretch.

Example: in your 30’s you should be holding a stretch for 40 seconds, in your 40’s hold it for 50 seconds, in your 50’s it should be a 60 second hold, and so on.

The reason is for this is that your muscles are less pliable as you get older. You need to stretch them for longer periods of time to remain flexible in your old age.

Static stretching should always be completed after your regular exercise routine. Dynamic and PNF stretching can be done during warm-ups or after regular training. If you are interested, you should read more about Flexibility Training.

What is Isometric Stretching?

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Before we really get into static stretching, you can take a minute to learn more about flexibility training.

One of the fastest ways to develop increased static-passive flexibility, isometric stretching uses the resistance of muscle groups through isometric contractions of the target muscles. Isometric stretching is even more effective than active stretching or passive stretching.

Isometric stretches help to develop strength in the target muscles and seems to decrease the amount of pain usually associated with stretching. Static-active flexibility is also increased due to the use of muscular contractions.

Not Isometric Stretching
This is not isometric stretching, but it’s a cool image.

Now we can examine how, why, when, and where to use isometric stretching. You can then decide if isometric stretching is right for you.

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What is Ballistic Stretching?

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Before we really get into ballistic stretching, you should take a minute to learn more about the basics of flexibility training.

Ballistic stretching is probably the most dangerous form of flexibility training you can use, but when done properly can significantly increase your range of motion (ROM). This is a very advanced form of flexibility training that is not considered very useful due to the potential for injury.

Cheerleading Toe Touch
Cheerleading Toe Touches – Seriously?

There is very little worth knowing about ballistic stretching, but we will go over all of it anyway, just so you know the how, where, when, and why to use ballistic stretching; or more accurately the how, where, when, and why NOTs.

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What is PNF Stretching?

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Before we really get into proprioceptive muscular facilitation (PNF) stretching, you should take a minute to learn more about the basics of flexibility training.

PNF stretching is probably the most effective form of flexibility training available to you for increasing your range of motion (ROM). This is a more advanced form of flexibility training, involving both the stretch and contraction of the targeted muscle group.

Two Girls Using PNF Stretching
Two Girls Using PNF Stretching

There is lots to learn about PNF stretching, so now we will examine why PNF stretching is your best choice for static flexibility training, as well as who, when, where, and how to use it.

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PNF Stretching Videos

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Below are some decent PNF stretching videos to go along with a recent post about PNF stretching. Use these videos to get some good ideas for stretching your muscles before exercise or anytime you feel like working to increase your flexibility. Similar to dynamic stretching, only better!

Click here to learn more about general flexibility training.

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Dynamic Stretching Videos

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Below are some decent dynamic stretching videos to go along with a recent post about dynamic stretching. Use these videos to get some good ideas for stretching your muscles before exercise or anytime you feel like working to increase your flexibility.

Click here to learn more about general flexibility training.

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Static Stretching Videos

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Below are some decent static stretching videos to go along with a recent post about static stretching. Use these videos to get some good ideas for stretching your muscles AFTER exercise.

Click here to learn more about general flexibility training.

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