Self Myofascial Release

Coach Eck’s Training Session 3/8/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW
Quick Thoughts:
  1. Another quick sessions this morning between clients and my interns. 
  2. Turned out to be shorter than I would have like as I spent more time on soft tissue (much needed today). 
  3. Throughout this journey of the last month and tracking my workouts it has reinforced a truth to me that I encourage my clients and students toward: consistency is key. Time and time again I realize that consistency trumps intensity or volume in my training. While both intensity and volume are important, it’s much more important for me to maintain consistency in order to sustain a training effect (in all facets: smr, mobility/flexibility, stability, power, strength). In short, getting in something is always better than nothing.

Coach Eck’s Training Session 3/7/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. Physically exhausted still. Joints a bit achy. Another low volume day. 
  2. Noticing numbers are staying reasonably solid and not dropping off much as long as I can get some good soft tissue and warm up sets in.
  3. Feeling pretty good on BB Bent Leg Hip Extensions.  I think some of my early struggles with this lift is BB positioning and the first movement off the floor (feeling that I’m pressing through the correct arch).  As long as I pay attention to those two things, the lift feels good and I find not lumbar shearing or stress.

Coach Eck’s Training Sessions 2/11/13 – 2/25/13

Prevail Strength Coach Jacob Goodin

Have you ever wondered how Chris “Eck” Ecklund gets his training sessions in despite his busy schedule?  Below are his last eight sessions, complete with the rationale for each lift.  Enjoy!

Coach Eck’s Training Session 3/5/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. Today was another extremely busy day that I didn’t think I was going to be able to fit training into. Luckily an hour opened up. 
  2. Although it’s already Tuesday, I’m feeling physically exhausted. Definitely unloading and trying to peak this week if I feel well enough each day.  Since I didn’t feel great today, I kept my loads about 10-20% lighter and tried to minimize my tempo. 
  3. Threw in a couple different variations today simply because I trained at Prevail and this is a training day I’ve been doing at UCSB over the last 2 months.

Coach Eck’s Training Session 3/4/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. Low Volume this week: similar plan as last week.  Keeping my volume as low as I can (as long as I can get warmed up enough) and trying to hit the same or higher intensity in most lifts this week.
  2. Why?  I’m exhausted (which typically comes at this point in my mesocycle) and I want to peak within reason before I unload and change my program next week.

Coach Eck’s Training Session 2/28/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. Had another opportunity to train off site by myself today.  Nice birthday gift to myself.  I enjoy training alone.  I don’t have to answer any questions about work or what I’m doing in my own training.  I find I can get a lot more work done.
  2. Keeping my volume up a little bit this week but not as much as last week.  As long as I’m feeling good and can get a lot of SMR and solid warm up in, I’ve wanted to challenge my loads a bit.

Coach Eck’s Training Session 2/27/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick thoughts:

  1. Trained at UCSB today.  I must admit that is was humorous to watch people watch me do the BB Bent Leg Hip Extensions.  Though I have tried to encourage my classes to begin working on this lift…next to NO ONE at UCSB performs it.  Quite funny to watch their faces as it’s a pretty conspicuous exercise.  But…great glute/adductor exercise.
  2. Had more time today, got more work done.
  3. ESD and Core work still pathetic.  Not getting either done on a regular basis.  Painfully obvious that I need to do a better job with my consistency in these areas.

Stretching: Before or After Exercise?…the debate continues

 By Juliann Boubel, BS, CSCS

Most Americans grew up hearing that we needed to stretch before exercise in order to “loosen up” and prepare our muscles for activity. It has been found in recent years, however, that this type of warm-up is not only counter productive before an activity but potentially harmful. While many of us began each PE class stretching in a circle before a rowdy game of kickball, scientists are now seeing that this sort of “static” stretching is having the adverse effects. When a “cold” muscle is put on stretch before starting an exercise, it actually tightens that muscle rather than loosens it and can cause muscle tears or strains. Think of your muscles like a rubber band that has been stretched too far–it loses its elasticity and, like muscles, cannot be contract back to normal quickly. In fact, it can take up to an hour for stretched muscles to regain their optimal length for performance! If you are playing an explosive sport, like basketball for example, after static stretching, your power and explosiveness can be significantly diminished through static stretching pre activity.
Does this mean we should just stop warming-up and stop stretching all together? Hardly. In a field of ever evolving information and discoveries, we are finding that this is an area that is getting a much-needed revamp. Warming-up needs to be something that gets your blood pumping and muscles ready to go. A five-minute light jog, a few sets of jumping jacks or sport specific activities like a few practice serves at tennis can go a long way. Prepping muscles for activity through these movements are known as active or dynamic stretches. Specifically we are talking about mimicking movements that will be used during a sport activate multiple muscle groups. Often one muscle may be stretched while the antagonist (opposite) muscles are working (think walking knee hugs: stretching hamstrings and glutes while contracting hip flexors). Moving through sport specific motions and dynamic activities better activate muscles for any activity from dancing to football.
Now, before you put an end to ALL static stretching, know that it still holds benefit. It is all dependent upon when you stretch. Once an exercise or workout bout is complete, feel free to spend time touching your toes and stretching your triceps during your cool down. This is the time research is finding great value for static stretching. It can help relax muscles and relieve tension accumulated during a work out. Stretching also increases joint flexibility and circulation, which helps speed muscle recovery.
At Prevail Conditioning Performance Center we take our clients through a thorough Self Myofascial Release, Corrective/Active-Isolated/Mobility Stretch, Activation and Movement Prep before every workout session and conclude with Static, Neuromuscular or Active Isolated Stretching Post Workout.
Prevail Conditioning will be offering a midday stretching class starting soon for any interested in learning more on how to safely and effectively use stretching to relax muscles, increase flexibility and improve circulation.


Julian Boubel, BS, CSCS is a Strength & Conditioning Coach for Prevail Conditioning Performance Center and works with athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.  For further information regarding this topic please contact Juliann Boubel, BS, CSCS at Juliann@prevailconditioning.com.

References:
1. Foster, Mary Ann. “13 Tips for Stretching Sanity.” Massage & Bodywork 20.5 (2005): 58-59.
2. Cheng, Maria. “Stretching could be harmful. ” McClatchy – Tribune Business News, April 18, 2010.
3. Ecklund, Chris. “When is the Best Time to Stretch…and How.” www.prevailblog.com. December 7, 2007.
4. “Experts Don’t Stretch Before Exercise.” April 15, 2010. www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-04-15-stretching-muscles_N.htm

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