You finished a run or a workout. You find a bench and perform the standard quad stretch, pulling your knee behind you. It's held for a few seconds then switch to the other side. Boom, you stretched, good enough? ...No.
Stretching and Mobilization seem to be an interchangeable term we throw around a lot.
" did you stretch today? Oh, your knee hurts because you didn't stretch your muscles"
For full range of motion= "your muscles, joints, and tendons need to be strong enough to absorb, load, and release energy into movement"....like a cheetah. - Nicholas Romanov
So, it's common to think "in order to be a good athlete I need to be flexible" Broken down into two words = Flex & Ability aka, the Ability to freely move the joints. Notice how I said joints, not muscles.
Another, BIG misconception.
When we get into an uncomfortable position our bodies conscious thought is to instantly tense up to protect itself. By breathing/relaxing through the movement we allow our muscles to relax , releasing the tension.
"Gentle stretching with short holds can also relax the muscle involved, releasing tension, which in turn makes the muscle longer but not more responsive"
By relaxing the muscle, rather just holding it in its end range/static position, we now have access to the joint area that is impinged. Through mobilizations involving distractions and flossing, we can free up the joints allowing them to move them through full range of motion.
Doing this not only improves the surrounding tissue, joints, and surrounding muscles, it prepares the area for further energy production.
For more info check out Mobility WOD's website for more information.
Also check out Ventura,California's only fully MWOD certified staff Gym @ The Vent Human Performance Center where we educate full mobility movements on a daily basis.
I'm passionate about running, fitness, nutrition and all things that make me and everyone else a better version of ourselves.