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Category: warming up

Lifting the Fog

Yesterday, I spoke of the fog. If one is in unfamiliar territory and blinded by fog it may feel as if the edge is an inch away in any or all directions. This does not feel like an edge. It feels like a ledge and it is crippling. People fall off of ledges unless they are rescued, after all. Either way, ledges rob one of feeling in control. It’s a helpless feeling. Of course I’m using the fog metaphorically here. So, in reality, what makes up this fog? What is… Read more Lifting the Fog

Do We Need to Stretch?

Stretching, the most common form of warming up, is not an effective way of lengthening muscle tissue. In order to add actual length to a muscle you’d have to stretch hourly, every day, for a looong time. Stretching may yet have value as a manner of increasing awareness of movement options. But, do we need to stretch? There are many ways to increase your movement repertoire besides stretching. I call these methods of movement variability training. I think that much of the reported benefits of many popular movement methods, like… Read more Do We Need to Stretch?

Option Variety: The Real Story Behind Stretching

One very common method utilized for warming up is stretching. Stretching is commonly assumed to add length to muscles, improve range of motion, and therefore improve performance. However, research has made it clear that adding any lasting length to a muscle requires stretching every hour of every day for a loooong time. This is why people so commonly say “it doesn’t seem to matter how much I stretch, I’m always tight!” So if stretching isn’t effective for adding muscle length, is there any value in it? How well we cope… Read more Option Variety: The Real Story Behind Stretching

Do you stare at the sun? The real story behind warming up.

Did you ever notice how unpleasant it is to have a bright light in your eyes after they’ve acclimated to the dark? Or, how about when you take a hot shower immediately after playing in the snow and it feels like molten lava? Of course you have. This is a totally normal phenomenon that we’ve all experienced. Vision and temperature sensation are both mediated by the nervous system which is very adaptive. It adjusts its sensitivity to attempt to match your current setting. A big change in the setting creates… Read more Do you stare at the sun? The real story behind warming up.