Posted on November 28 2021
It’s often these two categories of fitness that seem opposing, almost an oxymoron to be used in the same sentence. But there is possibility for balance between the two, which Angie Bell - ILU ambassador and founder of StudioBelle in Warminster - is going to tell us all about how to approach below.
Q. Can flexibility targeted workouts such as yoga, pilates, or barre be beneficial for recovery in strength training?
A. Absolutely. Strength training and flexibility targeted workouts both need to go hand in hand. You are much less likely to incur injuries if you are stretching, lengthening and maintaining flexibility throughout your body. Also, strength training can increase your flexibility by placing stress on those muscle fibres, especially under the eccentric phase. Both forms of exercise complement each other and without one the other will not be as beneficial.
Q. Are they complimentary goals to aim for when building a fitter body?
A. Yes. It isn't all about the hard workouts, the calories burned, how much you sweat and how red your face became. A fit body is one that is nurtured, nourished, strong, flexible, healthy and mobile.
Q. When building strength, is lengthening/stretching muscles and working on mobility a key contributor to lifting heavier or more regularly?
A. Yes. Without mobility and flexibility you cannot ask your body to perform at its best with weak links, niggles, poor form, injuries or poor range of motion throughout the limbs and connectors, it's a bit like taking a car that's failed it's MOT to the Grand Prix to win.
Q. Which 3 moves would you recommend that promote flexibility and supports strength training?
- Hip openers and Hip flexor stretches pre and prior workouts, absolute must before any big compound or explosive lifts.
- Hamstring and Glute stretches- so many common injuries and niggles are caused by tight hamstrings, spending time pre and post workouts on your hamstrings will definitely benefit your training and performance
We all tend to spend lots of time stretching our lower body/upper body but not very often do we focus on the cervical spine and up. We carry so much stress through this part of our spine, also through our shoulders, neck and jaw so we should not forget this area.
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