Static stretching consists of holding a stretch for 10 seconds to 1 minute. This type of stretching resembles plyometrics because it plays on the stretch–relax cycle (or elasticity) and causes a reflex contraction. Read more about Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy by Frederic Delavier, Jean-Pierre Clemenceau, Michael Gundill.
Women who are over 30 who have avoided the slightest physical activity throughout life and want to start exercising always ask me (Jean-Pierre) the same question: “Is it too late for me to develop my muscles? Skin, which can expand, takes on the shape of the muscle, and of course, the weaker the muscle is, the more the skin tends to collapse. Her muscles are stronger, and her bones are too because, like muscles, bones grow stronger with physical activity.
Static stretching is the most practiced stretching method. Static stretching relies on basic stretch-ing movements and muscle contractions. The agonist muscle contracts rapidly, which lengthens the antagonist muscle, thereby stretching it.
Repetitive athletic movements can reduce your range of motion by tightening the muscles and tendons. In certain sports and activities, like swimming or gymnastics, stretching must be done regularly to increase the range of motion in a joint when that range corresponds with increased performance. Using the muscle’s strength in passive resistance, stretching accel-erates the speed at which the proteins that make up the muscle fibers are synthesized.
Working the buttocks and abdominal muscles will help you sculpt a beautiful silhouette and shed unsightly fat. The butt is made up of a large amount of fat and muscles, together called the buttocks. The buttocks support the muscles of the thighs, called the hamstrings, when you need to increase your running speed.
In concert with the lumbar muscles, the abdominal muscles support the spine. The position of your head has a profound impact on muscle contraction; when you lean your head back, the lumbar muscles that support the spine contract reflexively, while the abdominal muscles have a tendency to relax. On the contrary, when you lean your head forward, the abdominal muscles contract while the lumbar muscles relax; the body tends to round forward.
In his upcoming book, Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy (Human Kinetics, October 2010), Delavier discusses the top five reasons every athlete should stretch. “Using the muscle’s passive resistance strength, stretching accelerates the speed at which the proteins that compose the muscle fibers are synthesized,” says Delavier. Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy offers stretches for releasing tension, increasing flexibility, and creating an overall sense of well-being.
Get the latest news, special offers, and updates on authors and products. SIGN UP NOW!