herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Rest and repair are an essential part of training, as is stretching

IF you have any injury you must very gently move and simply stretch. There are stretch programmes that can last up to one-and-a-half hours, but on those days there should be no other exercise done with weights. Stretching releases good hormones, or happy hormones as they are known.

Also lactic acid levels are reduced by increasing circulation. You don't expel lactic acid even when you sweat. The liquid you release when you sweat is a combination of water, salt and minerals but not lactic acid.

I got an opportunity to work with some world class physios and sport psychologists in Austria a few years ago. The seminar was on the benefits of stretching.

The conclusion was stretch when warm, not cold. If running, do a gentle jog then do each stretch for 15 seconds. A max stretch should take just a few minutes.

Stretching can be really beneficial for loosening hip, back, legs and calves. But when getting into a stretched position it should be done very slowly and gently.

Sometimes you have to go into 'sweet pain' mode, which can be a little uncomfortable. Start by trying to ease the muscles into position slowly and then push a little farther until you reach your maximum position.

Early morning your body will be tighter and less flexible. And if the mornings are cold it can really tighten all areas, especially the hamstrings and the back of the legs. In these instances even more caution is required to avoid injury.

Get good advice from a coach, who can design a complete programme including diet, exercise and stretching, this will get you better results faster. Adopt a day-on day-off approach, unless you are working on a different body part for alternative days. Your body will always need test in order to repair.

For more info tel : 01 661 6195; email : info@henryfitnesscentre.com; www.henryfitnesscentre.com

tricep STRETCH Bring your arm up by your head, place the other hand by the elbow. Reach your hand down behind your head until you feel the stretch down the back of the upper arm.

Muscles: Back of upper arm

exercises: Jen Feighery

Hamstring stretch Lying on your back, grab your leg behind your thigh or calf. Keeping the leg straight pull back towards your body.

Muscles: Back of thigh

Glute stretch Lying on the floor put one foot over the other knee, gently bring that leg up towards your body until you feel the stretch through your bum.

Muscles: Bum

quad STRETCH Lying on your side take your foot by the laces and pull your leg back, keeping your knees together and feel the stretch down the front of your thigh.

Muscles: Thigh

Cobra STRETCH Lying on your front, place your hands under your shoulders and gently push the upper body off the floor. Keep your stomach engaged, hips on the floor and legs loose.

Muscles: Abdominals, lower back

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