Flexibility and Recovery are the two most underexposed and important areas of fitness. Without the proper muscle length or repair process in place, your workouts would be extremely limited.
Functional flexibility, or flexibility as it relates to movement and muscle health, really comes down to one term:
Neuro-Inhibition <— your body’s ability to reduce signal to a muscle during a stretch.
If your nervous system continues to send electricity to a muscle while you are stretching it, your muscle would continue to contract and you wouldn’t get anywhere. However, you can overpower a weak signal, which is often times where most of us spend the majority of our time while stretching.
Essentially, we are working against ourselves while stretching.
But there are a few tricks you can use to limit the amount of neurofacilitation (the opposite of inhibition) that takes place. For example:
- Listen to relaxing music – this causes a whole body relaxation response.
- Rock or cradle yourself or a body part – much like rocking a baby, this ‘rolling’ or ‘rocking’ motion relaxes your muscles and causes you to get a better stretch
- Reciprocal Inhibition – turning one muscle ‘off’ by using the equal and opposite one to create movement. For example, a biceps curl turns off your triceps, so that your arm can freely move.
It gets really fun when you learn to stack your stretching program into such an all encompassing approach that guarantees results.
Mission Unbreakable does this, along with a lot more, to create the ideal stretching environment for your body. Your body will recover, rehabilitate, and arm itself against future injury.
…and then there’s Recovery, which really comes down to two factors:
Your body produces a ton of lactic acid following an intense bout of exercise… often times, more than what’s needed, unless you cool down. A proper cool down, or post-workout routine, will lead to increased muscle length, improved muscular coordination, and decreased soreness following workouts.
Your body craves a good post-workout routine.
It helps you get ready for the next day’s workout, helps you battle through restrictions that developed from old injuries or immobility while you’re warm, and helps take swelling out of muscles before cooling down completely.
This is such an important area of fitness. Post-workout nutrition. You’ve already heard me talk about some of the advantages of a post-workout recovery drink, allowing your body to recover more quickly following a workout and surge your energy level to get more from the rest of your day.
That’s great, if you are still getting in your meal within an hour and making sure to have your meal properly balanced to prime yourself for improved results tomorrow.