Spend Less Time Stretching, And More Time Moving Your Body (Better)

One of the common misconceptions out there is that we need to spend time stretching.

Develop a stretching or movement routine; 
Stretch before a run, stretch after a run;  
Go to “Stretch Lab” to get stretched.  

Stretch. Stretch. Stretch. 

Animals don’t stretch more than a few seconds, they might extend their spine briefly after curling up, but that’s about it.  

One might say,  
“I am two-legged, not four-legged, so I need to stretch.” 
“Our lifestyle has changed; I sit at my desk all day, so I need to stretch more.”  

Good points there. Specifically, most modern human beings are not physically active enough and we have adapted to a new lifestyle that is not optimal for the health of our musculoskeletal system.  

In other words, modern human beings are under-trained and not focused on what their physical body needs, which correlates with some unfortunate outcomes such as injuries, chronic pain conditions, and even surgeries during their lifetime. 

Can these unfortunate outcomes be avoided? Most of them, yes. 

The flip side of the coin is; that the human body is very resilient. It is so resilient and adaptive that it can take on repetitive stress for years, yet nothing breaks. 

However, there are always “red flags” along the way, such as
1) Getting repeatedly injures E.g. rolling the same ankle over and over again
2) Feeling numbness and tingling in your hands/feet 
3) Having pain that comes and goes
and more.

If stretching is not “the solution”, what is? 

I would look at both the branch and the root of the problem, on a case-by-case basis.

Generally speaking, move more often, with different variables/ complexity, and “move better” would be a better solution.

What does “move better” mean? It means to move more efficiently with the appropriate amount of effort and skills, based on the given task requirement.  

For example, if you are standing on the sidewalk in Herald Square while gripping your fists and toes. You are putting in way too much effort just standing. You are signaling your body to be tense.  

Throughout our lives, we have developed many movement patterns (whether they are compensational or not).  

Some of these patterns might be disruptive, others can make someone a world-class athlete.  

However, If you feel tightness, discomfort, or even pain in the body that won’t go away, there is a good chance that you have some disruptive movement patterns that irritate your muscles, soft tissues, or bones.  

Identity them, address them. (I took one session for client in picture to feel 90% better)

Get moving. Take care of your body. You only have one.