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Dynamic, Functional Stretching Routine

Stretching is a critical component to any comprehensive approach to exercise. Like most things in life, timing is everything. That said, research has proven that before explosive-type exercise, it’s best to perform functional, dynamic (movement) stretching that mimics the action of the chosen exercise – such as sprinting, jumping, or change of direction.

Post exercise, static (stretch and hold for 30 seconds) stretching helps to restore the working muscles to their elongated position.

Mackie’s Dynamic Lower Extremity Pre-Run Stretching Routine:

Assume an “all fours” position on the ground. Then, move to an elevated plank position – with arms fully extended, shoulder-width apart – with legs extended and shoulder-width apart.

  1. Alternate moving right and left legs forward – attempting to touch the elbows. Shift weight back toward heels and stretch low back – followed by the “cobra” yoga posture -with hips close to ground (don’t raise up hips), head in a neutral position, while extending the spine up – without discomfort.
  2. Spread the legs outside shoulder-width. Perform the same movement – attempting to bring the knee outside the elbow on the same side. Perform a modified, cobra-type stretch of the lower back with the head looking forward. Lean in with body but do not bend forward.
  3. In an upright position with one knee on the ground (on a folded towel or mat to protect knee), lunge forward with one leg. Using the hand on same side as bent knee hand, grasp the ankle, heel, or just try and keep in close proximity to butt of the other knee that is on the ground, and gently pull the heel toward the buttocks. Repeat to opposite side. Do not force any pressure on working knee, such that you open the joint excessively (too close to butt).
  4. Move into a “goalie stretch,” – with the heels together, knees separated, hands supporting the upper body with the weight shifted over the spread knees. Lean in with upper torso until you feel a groin stretch. Hold briefly and reduce tension.
  5. In an elevated “V” position with hands on the ground, alternate stretching each calf – moving the raised heel toward the ground.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie and April share exerises every Wednesday on WWL-TV