Stretching, It’s Not Just For Your Body Anymore.
Copyright 2006 J Lance Curtis “Where Your Mind Goes, Your Body Follows.” Wade McNutt Natural Champion Bodybuilder Flexibility is critical for proper body movement. And to achieve that requires proper stretching. You instinctively stretch, usually after first awakening. You push your limbs in extended movements to get that ‘good stretch’ feeling. This book is insufficient to devise a stretching program to meet your total needs.
There are plenty of good books out there. The one I have used for years is called ‘Stretching’ by Bob Anderson. He now has a DVD version if you prefer a visual approach. Both are available through Amazon.com.
The Key to stretching is when to do it. It was once thought that stretching should be part of your warm-up. Stretch and be ready for your workout. Now we know differently. Stretching should be done at the end of your workout, after the muscles are warmed and supple. The problem is that you are usually pushing to finish your workout and get out of the gym, not trying to find a way to stay longer. However, allow me to encourage you to plan your stretching as part of your workout. Taking less than 5 minutes to stretch out the major muscles just worked not only feels good but gives you lasting physical benefits. I had the pleasure to train a married couple, who first met at yoga class. These two had stretching down pat! While they and most yoga practitioners will bend your ear with the positives of stretching, you don’t have to do yoga to feel real benefits.
Get Bob Anderson’s book and incorporate stretching into your regular workout routine. Plan for it, do it. While stretching the muscles is important, this title of this chapter implies something more than physical stretching. I believe there is a form of stretching that is essential key to long term success for you. Recently, Forbes Magazine interviewed billionaire Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways. During the course of the interview he said something very interesting while talking about his mentor, Freddie Laker. Richard Branson said, "At the time, I was running a little record company; I was about 17 years old. The first time I met him was some years later. I was thinking about setting up my own airline. He gave me this advice: 'You'll never have the advertising power to outsell British Airways.
You are going to have to get out there and use yourself. Make a fool of yourself. Otherwise you won't survive'." I won’t ask you to make a ‘fool’ out of yourself, however, I believe you must stretch. Stretch your mind. All of my clients, at one time or the other, have heard me say this, “we all have limits in the gym, and over 80% of your limitation is mental. My job as your personal trainer is to push you to your limit, and a little bit beyond, so that your limit is stretched. Each time you go into the gym you are pushed against your new limits. You will always feel like your head is ‘banging against the wall’. But over time, in retrospect, you will be able to see the progress that you cannot really see each day because of the frustration of ‘hitting your limit’.
” Now that is a poorly worded way of saying that you are either stretching your limitations or your dying. Your limits are really only limits of your mind, your faith, your belief. You must know that although you don’t realize all your goals now, you are making progress toward those each day. My book of faith and doctrine puts it this way, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” You don’t wake up one day and magically get the body you want (or endurance, or self-confidence or whatever your goal is). You take small steps each day, make small decisions each day, each of which either gets you closer, or further away, from your goal. Remember to stretch your mind and body. Both are essential to your long term success. Daily disciplines help ‘stretch’ your mind.
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