Well we all know what it's like to feel stiff and sore and
sorry after the load out!!.
And the next day
we feel like we've been hit by a Mack
Truck!! Our muscles are tight, we're sore all over, and just
walking into the next gig is a major drama!
Relax; there is a way to reduce this pain and help to prevent
work related injuries.
Intro to muscles.
The soreness that follows hard physical work - and you can't get
much more physical than setting up a big production number!! - is
the result of minute tears within the muscle fibres, blood pooling
in the muscles and the accumulation of the waste products of exercise,
such as lactic acids.
Muscles are made up of tiny cylindrical cells called muscle fibres
which run parallel to each other, and can be up to 30cms long. For
every muscle in the body there is an opposite or opposing muscle
which acts against it. The two groups of muscles provide a resistance
to each other to balance the forces within the limb or body. If
the opposing groups of muscles are flexible, the working muscles
do not have to do as much work against the opposing muscles.
If one of these groups of muscles becomes a lot stronger or more
flexible than the opposing group, it is likely to be out of balance
with the other, leading to injury, or problems with posture. For
example : hamstring injuries are often caused by out-of-balance
thigh muscles. The quadriceps are strong but opposed by weak or
inflexible hamstring muscles.
The muscles are connected to the bones by the tendons, which are
made up of very dense connective tissue that is extremely strong,
yet very pliable.
Stretching, as part of an effective warm up and cool down, helps
to reduce muscle soreness and speeds up recovery time. Stretching
before exercise helps to prevent injury, and after exercise it helps
to prevent tight muscles and delayed muscle soreness. It does this
by lengthening the individual fibres, increasing the blood to the
muscles, and removing the waste products of exercise.
One of the greatest benefits of stretching is that we are able
to increase the length of our muscles and tendons, leading to an
increased range of movement before injury occurs. By increasing
our muscle and tendon length we increase the distance over which
our muscles are able to contract, resulting in a potential increase
in the power and control of the muscle.
Tight, stiff muscles limit the normal range of movement of the
body and limbs and interfere with their proper action. If our muscles
cannot contract and relax efficiently, we will have decreased performance
and a lack of muscle movement control. Short, tight muscles can
also cause a dramatic loss of strength and power.
@ a glance.
: to promote and maintain muscle and joint flexibility.
Warm-up before stretching with 10 minutes of light aerobic activity
- eg fast walking, jogging and ball skills,
for 15 minutes,
gently and s-l-o-w-l-y
.'Hold don't bounce',
stretch to the point where tension is felt in the muscles.
Stretching should never be painful
.over stretching may
make the problem worse! (If stretching after injury, stretch
should be felt at the injury site
each stretch for 30 - 60 seconds
repeat 3 - 5 times,
slowly and easily when stretching. This promotes blood flow
and, relaxed muscles are easier to stretch!
at least one stretch for every
major muscle group.
: Get the body in the right position for the most effective
best results stretch a little bit
The majority of injuries to raodogz are caused by the sudden exertion
needed for lifting heavy bits of gear, without a thorough warm up
and warm down!
As mentioned above; as part of general fitness routine, stretching
will help reduce muscular discomfort and soreness, loss of power
and performance, and reduce the risk of injury and repeated re-injury.
Just as we don't get fit in a couple of days, don't expect overnight
miracles with stretching
be patient!! Some muscles and tendons
my need a minimum of three months intense stretching before any
benefits are obvious!
Stick with it, it's worth it in the long run, & you'll be able
to keep on the road for longer!!
week, we'll look at the rest of the Upper & Lower Body
Until then, have a good one!!