Help Spread The Word by Becoming a Supporting Member and/or Sharing Your Favorite Episodes on Social Media
Oct. 15, 2021

Stretch Stronger, Your Secret Weapon

You've heard me say it tons of times... here's what I mean when I say Stretch Stronger. It is indeed your secret weapon for vibrant fitness and health!


Stretch stronger. 

If you have been following RiversZen for any time at all, you often hear us referring to the term stretch stronger. What in the world does that mean? When you think of stretching, isn't the first thing that comes to mind relaxing the muscle and making the muscle long and supple, and just getting a lot of length and a lot of relaxation.

Well, that's kind of part of it but what's more important that we have found is that when you stretch a muscle, you want that muscle to be tight. 

I know, I know that seems totally off the wall. Crazy, doesn't it seem like the exact opposite of what you want to do, but it's been discovered it's called eccentric motion, and it's been discovered that when you stretch a muscle and the muscle is tight, not only do you get a deeper stretch, you grab all of the muscle fibers.

And it's a protected stretch. You don't, if the muscles tight, you don't tear the the fibers. And I remember when I was in when I played baseball, I pulled a hamstring. And so the coaches wisdom was to come on, Davey, throw that foot up, throw your heel up on a bench and lean over and stretch that hamstring.

Well, it took me almost six months for that injury to heal and in retrospect I wonder if it was because I just kept tearing the muscle. 

Nowadays, if I get a little bit of a hamstring pull or a groin pull, I stretch those muscles under contraction with the muscle tight and it just lasts a short period of time. 

There's other reasons too we say stretch stronger because the type of stretching that we teach, the stretch pro resistance stretching, actually builds muscles through your full range of motion. 

That's another one of the issues you run into if you're not stretching stronger. A perfect example is a dancer, a ballerina who gets extreme flexibility, but they don't have the strength to support that flexibility. So often they end up with some horrendous injuries because they've forced their body into such length, their muscles into such lengths, that they can't recover.

As we age and seem to fall a little bit, most people do. What do they say? Three out of four people they are saying, will take a fall this year if you're over 65. I don't know the actual number. I just pulled that one out on my hip. So don't don't fact check me on it. But you do know as people age, they have a tendency to fall a little bit more.

Well, one of the problems is they get injured because they don't have the strength through the full range of motion, the motion that they're forced into and they fall and say kind of do like the quasi splits or something and they tear muscles and they tear supporting muscles and tendons and ligaments. And next thing you know, you're getting hip surgery and hip replacements and knee replacements.

Well, if you can build the muscle as you're stretching the muscle, using this stretch pro system, using any type of resistance stretching, you're going to have better results. I mean, I can't guarantee you that you won't ever need a hip replacement or knees replaced and such, but it's definitely, we've seen enough cases, people, myself included facing surgeries and not having to get those surgeries because they have on their own as in my case, have strengthened the muscle have supported the joints have supported the area and they, they just resolve their issue. And that's really. Cool. So you not only do this when you're doing stretch pro stretching, but I've adapted personally and I'm often encouraging in my classes to tighten the muscle when you stretch it.

Okay. We're doing a particular, say a yoga pose and you're, you're stretching the hamstrings. So you stretch the quadriceps. You're stretching the triceps, the biceps anywhere. Consciously think about tightening that muscle when you stretch, it seems like the exact opposite of what you do, but let me guarantee you, the results are mindblowing.

They're staggering. So the message is basically to stretch stronger, to utilize resistance stretching. That's where you resist with the muscle as you're stretching it. 

And once you do that, you'll never stretch the old fashion way, the static stretching. Even if you do a static stretch.

See, I love to go into twists and to go into deep, deep long-held stretches, but the entire time I'm doing the stretch, I'm contracting the muscles, the muscles tight, it's got a small tightness to it, so effective, so doggone effective. So if you've ever wondered what stretch stronger is talking about, there you go. Now, you know, I'll be giving more on this and the, in the upcoming weeks, but I just wanted to give you this little, introduction to stretch pro resistance stretching and stretching stronger.

Hope you have an amazing day and that you move well, stay healthy and are absolutely totally 1000% percent passionate and happy.