Functional Stretch classes are an easy but effective way to kill two birds with one stone ie improving the flexibility of our clients whilst at the same time improving and correcting muscle imbalances
Muscles can be broadly categorised into two types depending on how they function. Some muscles, for example the deep abdominals act as postural, or stabilising muscles, which others such as the biceps, act as locomotion or movement muscles.
Stabilising muscles contract minimally, but are able to hold the contraction for long periods of time. However for an inactive person, or someone with poor alignment, these muscles develop poor tone and tend to sag. Poor tone is a result of the nerve impulses finding it difficult to get through to the muscle ie it has poor recruitment. This occurs because the stabilisers have been infrequently used, or there has been pain present. For example when we have back pain, our deep abdominals and our deep spinal tend to waste and the nerve impulses to these muscles are reduced. Because these muscles have not been used we then find it difficult to switch them back on.
Movement muscles however are more superficial. Ineffective training leaves us with tight strong superficial muscles and sagging poorly toned deeper postural muscles.
Therefore we as instructors should be looking to incorporate some sort of group exercise class which stretches tight muscles and strengthens the weak stabiliser muscles. A functional stretch class can achieve this aim. For example check out some of the sequences that are used below.
As you can see, by incorporating functional stretch sequences such as these into your teaching program, you will help redress some muscles imbalances in your class participants, therefore increase their performance, and reducing injury.
For 3 hours worth of functional stretch and conditioning routines plus loads of other stretch and conditioning sequences, please click here