As a lifelong athlete and personal trainer for the last 26 years, when I look back at my fitness lif
As a lifelong athlete and personal trainer for the last 26 years, when I look back at my fitness life, what ONE thing would I do differently?
For me, that answer is simple. STRETCH! Back when I was growing up, there was simply not the amount of fitness knowledge that there is now for trainers and coaches. I love my sports coaches as a kid and in high school, but they didn’t make us stretch very much. They molded my life and showed me discipline and a hard work ethic, but STRETCHING…nah! This was a problem that I still deal with. To be honest on the field for football practice we did stretch a good bit, but were not trained that way in the gym. I would touch my toes a few times then throw several hundred pounds on the bar and squat. Even today, I still feel the effects of tight hamstrings.
So, for those starting out in fitness or sports I say take the time to stretch. For my clients now, I teach them a basic stretching routine that they do before and after a workout. I do it before as it gets the joints and muscles ready for the work ahead. They do it after, as when the muscles are warmed up from exercise they are pliable, so you can really work on that flexibility. After a workout is time to really work on flexibility.
My basic routine is arm circles, both forward and backward. Cross body stretch on both left and right, chest stretch, hamstring stretch bending down the slide both left and right. Then a quad stretch and finally calf stretches. (If you are unfamiliar with these movements you can Google them or contact me.) I have my clients do each movement several times for about 10-15 seconds before moving on to the next movement. Stretching properly WILL improve your athletic ability. Please don’t make the same mistake that I did.
In the end, a proper diet, training and stretching program as well as a cardio program are all required to be a healthy athlete. If you want to know more, go to garanfitnessconsulting.com, or Facebook at Garan Fitness Consulting or Garan Fitness Tactical Training. Additionally, visit my Youtube page, Garan Fitness Consulting for videos on different exercises and training tips. Recently I gave away a free basic workout program to those that requested it. I have now updated that from not only specific exercises, but also different set up tips, to keeping your workouts interesting and productive. If you are interested in the free update, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will sent it to you.