The complex pattern of muscles working together to stabilize, open, and close various joints in many combinations and with perfect timing is what enables us to generate force and power. This force and power is what gives us the ability to do all the things we do — sit, stand, crawl, walk, run, jump, skip, lunge, hop, lift, squat, bend, push, pull, twist, dance and play. This is especially important around the hip joint, the most powerful joint in our body’s, across which many of our largest and strongest muscles span.
The greater our range of motion (up until a point) across a joint, the greater your body’s ability to generate power and force. Tight, inflexible muscles restrict the ability of the joint to fully open, close and move properly, limiting both our functional movement capacity and ability to generate force and power. Let’s consider a mousetrap. If the spring you use is too tight, it won’t allow the trap to open completely, which won’t give the mouse the space to enter the trap, rendering the trap quite ineffective.
During our early years, we have increased range of motion of all our joints. This means our joints move the amount they were designed to move. But as we get older, we start doing things differently, we are moving less and sitting for too long with bad posture, we might get injured, and we might not be spending time stretching. So what happens to our muscles if they are not moving as they are designed too? They shorten and tighten, so do our ligaments and tendons. Therefore what was once a full range of motion joint, become restricted, short and tight and sometimes painful. Stretching will help release tight and inflexible muscles.
If we don’t deal with these tight and short muscles, our joint range of motion will decrease more and more. With each smaller degree of restriction, our muscles and joint combinations become less capable of operating the way they are designed too. Then what? We are less able to generate force and power. Now what? Our body is even less capable of doing what it’s designed to do at that joint, our functional movement will change – for the worse. And since you still call upon your body to do things that you always have, it means other parts of your body (joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons) will have to compensate for the inability to move at that joint. Your body is phenomenal, it has the ability to compensate around short and tight muscles, but this ultimately leads to all sorts of problems and compensations that will likely cause pain, discomfort, and lowered functional movement capacity.
Are you ready to stretch now? So, why stretch? To maintain the mobility of your joints and have a full capability to sit, stand, crawl, walk, run, jump, skip, lunge, hop, lift, squat, bend, push, pull, twist, dance and play. Why not make your body as functionally capable to move as you can, for as long as you can. Plus it feels great to be able to bend over and touch your own toes! It releases endorphins (the feel good hormone), it helps to tone our muscles, it’s easy to learn and you can do it sitting or lying down. It lengthens and maintains the results of massage. It is cumulative, the more you do the more you will be able to move.
Incorporating some stretching routine into your current Remedial Massage or Myotherapy care plan can extend the benefits that they are already creating for you muscular system. Book in today to make sure your muscles are capable of performing at their best with the help of our amazing team!
Our Remedial Massage and Myotherapy team are more than happy to help offer advice, book online or call us on 9887 4144 for an appointment today!
Have a chat with us and we will get a stretching plan specifically for you.