Indoor Sport Services Training Guide
Our Indoor Rowing Training Guide is the ultimate training resource for the Indoor Rower. Written by top education and coaching specialists, it includes information on technique and training, with programmes on cross-training, 2,000m and marathon race training, weight management and keep fit. There are guest chapters written by top names such as Jurgen Grobler and Chris Shambrook as well as dedicated sections on psychology, nutrition and weight training.
Before and After Exercise - Stretching<< Cool DownStretching Exercises >>
The stretching that you do in the warm up and cool down has different purposes. In the warm up stretching allows a slight increase in flexibility that will result in improved performance and reduce the likelihood of injury. In the cool down stretching has the purpose of helping the body to remove some of the build up of lactic acid in the muscles and to improve flexibility. For these reasons the stretching in the warm up and cool down are of different durations.
- Regular stretching is important in improving flexibility and should be continued regardless of what stage of a training programme you have reached.
- It takes time to make significant progress with stretching exercises. Start by selecting just a few simple exercises to begin stretching each muscle group. Then, very gradually, increase the number of stretches and condition the muscles to greater degrees of stretch.
- It's important to warm up the muscles with some light rowing before you start stretching. If required wear a tracksuit (or equivalent) to help keep the muscles warm.
- Stretching should be done slowly, with no jerking or bouncing movements. Move into the stretching position slowly, continuing until a good stretch on the muscles is felt. Never stretch to the point of pain.
- In the warm up, after reaching a good stretch position, hold it for eight to 15 seconds. In the cool down this can be increased to 45 to 60 seconds. After each stretch release the body slowly from the position.
- The muscle being stretched should be as relaxed as possible. Stretch both sides of the body equally.
- Stretching exercises are not meant to be competitive. Do not compare progress with others as over-stretching can lead to injury. Just as important, the overly flexible should be excluded from the stretching programme.
- Although the ageing process brings about stiffness and increasing lack of mobility, regular stretching programmes, especially yoga, can bring about great improvement.
Warm Up Stretching
During the warm up ten to 15 minutes should be found to stretch. These stretches should last eight to 15 seconds in duration and should be focussed on the muscles that will be used during exercise. This will lead to improved performance and reduce the likelihood of injury.
Cool Down Stretching
After the cool down exercise has been completed a stretching session should be undertaken. This is the best time to improve your flexibility as the muscles are warm. If necessary a tracksuit or other loose clothing should be worn to maintain the high body temperature. During the cool down the focus is on improving flexibility by holding the stretches for 45 to 60 seconds.
If you find that your flexibility is not as good as it should be then introducing an extra flexibility session will help you make good improvements. This session does not need to follow exercise and can be done anywhere. Ensure that the muscles are warm by either exercising lightly or having a hot bath then stretch, holding each position for 45 to 60 seconds and repeating each stretch three to five times. This can be done in front of the TV or whilst reading.
More information about stretching can be found in the following books, available from good book shops;
- Bob Anderson, Jean Anderson (Illustrator) : Stretching
Shelter Publications, 2000
- Pavel Tsatsouline, Relax into Stretch : Instant Flexibility Through Mastering Muscle Tension
Dragon Door Publications, 2001
- Michael J Alter, Sport Stretch
Human Kinetics Europe Ltd, 1998