Health & Safety

August 10, 2012

Stretching muscles no small matter

Photo and story by Airman 1st Class Grace Lee
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Senior Airman Anthony Holochwost, 756th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, demonstrates a sitting hamstring stretch at the Luke Air Force Base track, which helps to increase flexibility in the hamstrings.

There are various opinions out there in the fitness world on whether one should stretch before or after a workout. The answers may vary depending on who you ask, but here’s what the experts at Luke Air Force Base have to say.

Stretching and flexibility are often neglected aspects of fitness and health, according to Sherri Biringer, 56th Force Support Squadron fitness specialist supervisor.

“Many people feel stretching is not needed or can be put off,” she said. “But, that’s not the case. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible. And flexibility is the capacity of muscles and joints to move through a full range of motion.”

Stretching also relieves pain, eases tension around joints, reduces chance of injury from muscle strength imbalances and can reverse gradual loss of flexibility as the body ages, Biringer said.

“Stretching increases the production of glycoaminoglycans,” she said. “Glycoaminoglycans are a gel-like substance that helps prevent muscle fibers from sticking together and helps to repair collagen, which protects and cushions joints.”

Types of stretches may vary person to person, according to Matthew Corcoran, 56th FSS fitness instructor.

“It all depends on your workout,” he said. “For example, if your workout involves squats, you need to work on lower back flexibility. If you don’t stretch properly you risk getting injured.”

Although experts disagree, Biringer said stretching before a workout isn’t necessary.

“If you stretch before your workout there is a higher chance of injury, because you’re trying to lengthen cold muscles,” she said.

Instead, Biringer recommends doing an active warm-up prior to a workout.

“Active warm-ups help to loosen up the rotational chain from the neck to the ankles; this will get joints warm and muscles ready for the workload. An example of a rotational warm-up is arm circles,” she said.

As for stretching, Biringer advises to do so after a workout.

“Stretching is important after your workout because you have usually contracted your muscles and made them short,” she said. “You then need to lengthen them, which makes them more pliable and helps to decrease the amount of lactic acid build up in the muscles.”

While the types of stretches one does after a workout may differ depending on which muscles were used, Biringer recommends anything from yoga stretching to basic stretches learned in high school physical education.

“Stretching relaxes the body; even doing yoga a couple times a week is very effective for an athlete and the occasional weekend warrior,” Biringer said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Pg-1-photo-150612-F-EC705-058

Emerald Knights go out with bang

Emerald Knights watch a burning piano during the 308th Fighter Squadron inactivation party June 12 at Luke Air Force Base. The 308th FS and aircraft maintenance unit have packed up and are transitioning to the 314th FS standing...
 
 
2_lemery_d2

Respect — want, earn, give, but don’t lose it

Lt. Col. David Lemery We all want it, some earn it, some are given it and some lose it. Respect can be defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements. As ...
 
 

Solve problems at lowest level

Crucial in our Air Force environment today is having the proper tools and skillsets available to deal with problems. There is literally something new almost every single day that will invoke problem solving skills. When faced with a problem, an important mindset to have is to resolve the issue at the lowest possible level. Some...
 

 

News Briefs June 26, 2015

607th ACS change of command Lt. Col. Charles Jones will relinquish command of the 607th Air Control Squadron to Lt. Col. Jerald Canny in a ceremony at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Hangar 999.   CMS change of command Maj. Scott Hall will relinquish command of the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron to Maj. Anthony Sutton in...
 
 

Fighting Falcons arrive at Holloman

Courtesy photo Six F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 308th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base arrive in formation June 16 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 308th FS has inactivated and the soon to be activated 314th FS assumes the 308th FS mission of training F-16 pilots as a 56th Fighter Wing...
 
 
5_Courtesy-photo

Monsoon season blows in storms, rain, dust

Courtesy photo Arizona is known for being sunny with clear skies for the majority of the year, but every year “it” happens. As the clouds roll in, the sky darkens with thunderbolts streaming overhead, and the first drops of...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>