Author: Valley Health Clinic

Dynamic Stretching

Learn more about Dynamic Stretching and how your workout can benefit from it

Dynamic stretching means slow, controlled movements rather than remaining still and holding a stretch. They include simple movements like arm circles and hip rotations, flowing movements as in yoga or walking or jogging exercises. While studies have not clearly proven this, increasing numbers of experts agree that dynamic stretching is the best stretching routine before a workout or competition.

Warming Up Before Stretching

You should never stretch a cold muscle in any way. Start with some mild aerobic warm-ups to get blood to the tissue before doing any stretching Warming up increases blood flow, which increases the temperature in muscle, which makes the collagen fibers more elastic like a rubber band.

Dynamic stretching is the best stretching routine before a workout or competition

Dynamic stretching means slow, controlled movements rather than remaining still and holding a stretch. There are two types of flexibility receptors: a static receptor, which measures magnitude and a dynamic receptor, which measures speed and magnitude. Dynamic activities that require movement, such as running, jumping or kicking use the dynamic receptor to limit flexibility. Therefore, a dynamic stretch that stresses the dynamic receptor is more beneficial when preparing for a warm-up when performing a dynamic activity. Dynamic stretching also includes constant motion throughout the warm-up, which maintains the core body temperature, whereas static stretching can see a drop in temperature of several degrees. Another benefit of dynamic stretching is that it prepares the muscles and joints in a more specific manner since the body is going through motions it will likely repeat in the workout. It also helps the nervous system and motor ability since dynamic motions do more to develop those areas than static stretches.

Static stretching before a workout may decrease your strength, power, and performance

After your workout or competition, then do static stretches. Too many people do static stretching before and then nothing after. This is the most common mistake. After your work out is when you should lengthen muscles and improve your flexibility. Hold static stretches for about 30 seconds.

Treating Lower Cross Syndrome

Learn more about Lower Cross Syndrome and how Valley Health Clinic can help

Lower cross syndrome refers to a pattern of various tightened and weak muscles. This body pattern can decrease strength, flexibility, range of motion and lead to further degenerative processes. It is commonly seen in people with Piriformis syndrome or Sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Lower cross syndrome consists of various tightened and weak muscles. The tight muscles are generally as follows: hip flexors such as (iliopsoas and rectus femoris), and erector spinae muscle The weakened muscles are as follows: abdominal muscles and gluteus maximus.

The Problem

Inactive gluteal muscles or overactive hip flexors can facilitate development of many problems including Piriformis and SI joint pain. When the gluteals are not activating the hamstrings, adductor magnus, and piriformis have to perform work overtime. Resulting hypertrophy of the piriformis which produces sciatic symptoms. Also many of these large and small muscles have relationships with the ligaments of the sacroiliac joint. When they are tight they can restrict proper motion in the pelvis causing sacroiliac joint pain.

A major cause for inactive gluteals is overactive hip flexors (psoas major, iliacus, and rectus femoris). This imbalance usually occurs where the hip flexors have been trained to be too short and tight, such as when someone sits with hips flexed, as in sitting all day at work.

Another cause of tight hip flexors is athletes engaging in forward-moving activities, such as runners and bicyclists. When not balanced by lateral movement of the legs, repeated forward movements can lead to disproportionately weak hip abductors and tight adductors. This can cause the piriformis muscle to shorten and severely contract. These athletes need to balance their activities by engaging in lateral stretching and strengthening exercises.

A Solution, Prirformis Stretch

Perform a 10 seconds Piriformis stretch – re-align your pelvis, prevent sciatica.

A Solution, Sacroiliac Joint Mobilization

See an example of sacroiliac joint mobilization.

A Solution, Sacroiliac Joint Stabilization

See an example of advanced sacroiliac joint stabilization.

Willard Sheppy

Willard Sheppy Dipl. OM, LAc, BS at Valley Health Clinic in Albany Oregon

Will Sheppy is a licensed acupuncturist (LAc) specialized in using Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat acute injuries and chronic conditions, and to improve sports performance and rehabilitation.