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Gymchat 141 - Stretching & Warming Up Wed Oct 26, 9pm EDT (1am UTC) (To see when it's on in your timezone : When you work out, d...
Derek Peruo's profile photoScott Bird's profile photoKirk Fontaine's profile photo
Cool. Let's begin! Kirk, let's start with some background... Who are you, and what's your specialty?
I am a NASM certified Personal trainer at the moment my background is in bodybuilding and basic nutrition just graduated with a Master's in Exercise Science from Cal U of Penn
Congrats on the Master's degree!

So tonight is all about Stretching and Warm-ups, and in my experience there are two camps: those that warm-up religiously, and those that skip right to the workout.

Where do you align yourself when it comes to stretching and warm-ups?
I usually do a generalized body warmup like jumping jacks ,burpees or jumping rope to get the blood churning in the body. then I do some static stretching based on what body part I am working that day
And how do these warm-ups impact your workouts? What long-term benefits have you seen?
well they do help improve my flexibility over time and keep me from injuring myself during my workouts , Which for me is hard since it is hard to commit to them since I am anxious to get started on the meat and potatoes of my workout session
If you are to participate in exercise the first thing you need to do is warm up. The warm up is important to prepare your mind and body so that you can get the very best out of the exercise. The effect of a warm up on preventing injury is not clear however research does suggest increased muscle temperature decreases the risk of muscle tear (1). Warming up will:
Increase your heart rate to give you increased blood flow around the body to the muscles
Improves oxygen delivery to the muscles
Stimulates faster muscle contraction
Improves the joints ability to endure stress
It's very common for trainees to jump right into their major lifts for the day, skipping the warm-up because they feels it's not challenging or interesting.

How dangerous is it to skip the warm-up?
Quite dangerous if you muscles ,ligaments and tendons are not properly warmed up and flexible. You could strain, sprain or tear one of these.
And usually novices and sometimes "our weekend warriors" who have not been training in a while fall in to this trap
Kirk, you mentioned that warming-up is, "important to prepare your mind and body."

What sort of psychological benefit do you experience before/during/after your warm-ups?
Interesting question
I think it keeps your mental focus on your workout sessions based on what you have planned . I also think a workout partner helps keep you focused as well vs. if you are by yourself and easily distracted by other gym members that may want to converse with you

Beside I think it also calms you after ward in terms of a feeling a sense of accomplishment as well

I am sure powerlifters and bodybuilders go through this process before their competitions
Many people believe Yoga and Pilates offer benefits—both mental and physical— similar to the ones you describe above.

What is your opinion of yoga and pilates?
...We're about half-way through tonights Gymchat, and I'd like to open it up briefly for viewer questions. If you have a question for Kirk, feel free to ask...!
I think they are great helping keep one' s mind and body in a healthy state
Kirk, while we wait for viewer questions, let's change topics and discuss stretching.

How is "stretching" different from "warming-up?"
Stretching is important for everyone and everyone should stretch on most days of the week. A good time to do this is after an exercise session because the muscles will be warmer and so the stretches will be more effective.

Flexibility is the degree of movement that occurs at a joint. This is called the range of movement (ROM). Stretching to increase flexibility is important because all activities require a specific ROM. Sports require the individual to make certain movements and if flexibility restricts these movements overall performance will suffer. When someone is outside there ROM injury risk is increased. Also an imbalance in flexibility can lead to increased risk of injury. Effective Stretching for flexibility will include static stretching and also PNF stretching. PNF stretching is an advanced technique and is very effective in terms of increasing flexibility.
They can be general or specific in nature and can be done after warmup
It sounds like stretching is done separately from the rest of the workout. But I know of several powerlifters and weightlifters with incredible flexibility who never dedicate time to stretching.

Why might this be?
Hmm I think it may come down to genetics and based on their level of fitness they might not need to do as much as one that is on the novice level. Interesting concept I am just speculating
Good point!

How much do genetics, physical age, and training age affect flexibility?
Well we all wish genetics played a bigger part in our training and development but I think it plays a small part I think research is revealing a lot more about how much genetics influences our bodies when we are exercising.
Physical age has a factor in it as well since the older one gets the more flexibility is affected along with the amount of training that a person is participating in.
How then do we achieve optimal flexibly?
that is relative to how you are training and what your goals are whether you are a weekend fitness enthusiast or an elite athlete. It is optimal according to those standards that are set in your particular sport or activity I think optimal flexibility can be attained if you are consistent with doing it on a daily basis along with specified training program
Last question...

What are your top 3 warm-up/cool-down exercises that viewers can use right away in their programs?
warmup I would think jumping jacks , burpees , jumping ropes for general body warmups . cool down exercise would be just walking to get your heart rate back to normal
Thank you very much, Kirk. We covered a lot of ground tonight, and I appreciate you taking the time to speak with us.

Where can people find out more about you and your training style?
I did have a blog but it was deleted due to violation of term of services so i have to reinstate it which will be soon In the meantime you can contact me here on G+ or my email address
Thanks again, Kirk. And good night!