Do you want to stretch, get more mobile, or be more flexible? Whatever you call it, your goal is to increase the range of your muscles and joints in various positions to be able to complete whichever activity you’re training for.
Here’s an example. Say you’re into the martial arts like I am. Maybe you want to complete a cartwheel so that you can build out into something more difficult or impressive like an aerial( no handed cartwheel). An easier example would be in tying your shoes. If you don’t have the range to bend over (hips, hamstrings, lower back) you will probably strain your muscles or have to get creative to complete a simple task.
This brings out a bunch of choices in how to get the job done. Before I give you an obvious choice that we follow, here’s some food for thought from Jarlo at GMB Fitness.
As the argument goes, muscles don’t actually stretch; a fully relaxed muscle is up to 50% longer than a muscle in it’s typical semi-contracted state. Therefore, “stretching” a muscle doesn’t so much elongate its fibers as it simply trains them to hold less unnecessary tonus.
-Jarlo Ilano, GMB Fitness
So now to the obvious choice. I’ve gone through different protocols of mobility and flexibility in my time-frame as a trainer. The best protocol I’ve found is actually in the Focused Flexibility program from GMB. It bases its protocols on customization. The human body is not a static machine, it constantly changes. Focused Flexibility uses a baseline and then it works you through a series of static and dynamic stretches that are a variant of physical therapy protocols.
So if you want to develop your “flexibility, mobility, or increase your stretching range” pick up the GMB Focused Flexibility Program.