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.


 
 

 
Airman 1st Class 
CORY GOSSETT

MRA graduates 11,000 strong

Airman 1st ClassCORY GOSSETT Detachment 12, 372nd Training Squadron mission-ready Airmen perform a preflight check July 21 on an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Luke Air Force Base. The MRA program teaches Airmen F-16 launching, recove...
 
 

In your comfort zone? Get out!

Being promoted means you are ready to take on the next level of roles and responsibilities, but how do you prepare for the next level of responsibilities? One tactic that has worked for me is to step outside my comfort zone. By doing this, I’ve learned more about the Air Force and experienced more situations...
 
 

Service before self, but don’t forget about self

As Airmen, we live and breathe the Air Force core values on a daily basis. However, don’t let our second core value, service before self, distract you from actually taking care of yourself. In my 13 years of active-duty service, there is one regret I hear most from people both in and out of the...
 

 
Senior Airman Jenna Sarvinski

Life, Liberty, pursuit of happiness brings Kenyan student to America

Senior Airman Jenna Sarvinski Senior Airman Robert Cheruiyot, 56th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, greets Gen. Julius Waweru Karangi, chief of the defense forces, Kenya. Karangi and Cheruiyot met in a chance enc...
 
 

News Briefs August 1, 2014

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct an active-shooter exercise Aug. 15. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Staff Sgt. Gregory Scharp 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Phase floor chief Hometown: Sparta, New Jersey Years in service: Six Family: Wife, Maggie Education: Community College of the Air Force aircraft maintenance technology Previous assignments: Moody Air Force Base, Georgia; and Osan Air Base, South Korea Inspirations: Music and my wife Goals: To complete a bachelor’s...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin