THE NUMBER ONE REASON TO STRETCH

BY CEO ROBERT FORSTER, PT

We know stretching is good for us, so why do we avoid it like the plague?  Maybe you just don’t know that stretching is its own workout, and provides performance benefits way beyond your sport. Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that you don’t have time to stretch, and you would rather grab a cup of coffee instead. Bad Idea.

Stretching is valuable; it’s essential, and delivers benefits beyond simply preparing your body for exercise or addressing issues of safety and performance.  Here is the number one reason you need to stretch:  It keeps you young.

It’s critical to prioritize muscle length as much as strength, so exercising to build muscle, improve posture, eliminate joint pain,  or to increase your metabolism is only half the battle.

To lengthen muscles that have been shortened over time through a breakdown in posture, immobility, injury, disease, and the constant pull of gravity you must concentrate on connective tissues called fascia.

Fascia is fibrous connective tissue that wraps and supports muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, nerves.

When we get injured or engage in repetitive actions that don’t have much variety in range of motion, our body may over time develop excess fascia between muscle tissue.

This fascia wraps healthy tissue much like a spider wraps it’s prey in a web. The result is compromised range of motion, cross-linkages, and fascial adhesions. Adhesions restrict our movement and create tension that is unnecessary and dangerous to our joints and muscles. Adhesions increase the likelihood for fascial restrictions which have the capacity of creating up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. This intense pressure compromises our youthful physiology and results in chronic pain, and joint dysfunction, and imminent injury. 

  Many stretching therapies address the elastin fibers of connective tissue; but what we have found by working with elite athletes is that those therapies must also address fascia at deeper levels to alter the fascia substance and construction.

To melt or break apart the adhesions that age the connective tissue, stretching and massage are critical. 

For this reason foam rolling, self massage, AND stretching techniques together, lead to lengthier muscles, pain relief, and a more permanent change within the fascia for younger healthier pain free movement.  Forster Training System Pro Self Massage Roller was designed to not only massage muscles before and after exercise, it was developed with special gears, much like a therapist’s fingers to work across fascia, breaking apart scar tissue to repair muscles and increase circulation. Purchase your FTS massage stick, or find one sold exclusively at Forster Physical Therapy or the PHASE IV center in Santa Monica.

Next time you are tempted to skip your stretching for that cup of coffee, think twice and always choose stretching first!

For more personalized stretching, get STRETCHED at PHASE IV,  call for your appointment and ask for the

PHASE IV (3) PAC STRETCH LAB

STRETCH LAB INCLUDES:

A head to toe Postural and Structural Analysis with a Physical Therapist, and 2 Training Sessions to learn advanced stretching and foam rolling techniques to keep your connective tissue and your joints pain free, heathy, young, strong, and flexible at any age!  $199 (for a limited time)

Call 310-582-8212  or visit PHASE IV Santa Monica 1544 20th Street Santa Monica, CA 90404
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