A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 7: Training for Mobility 152 Figure 7.4. The 3 Planes of Movement The cool-down should be performed immediately following physical activity and involve a gradual reduction in exercise intensity. For example, walking an additional tenth of a mile at 3.0 miles per hour or slower on the treadmill after finishing a pace / tempo workout. The purpose of a cool-down is to allow the heart rate and breathing to return to normal. Additionally, a proper cool-down helps to improve venous return (blood flow back to the heart) thereby aiding in the body’s ability to recover. Since the muscles, tendons, and connective tissue are warmer following physical activity, and thus more elastic and pliable, the cool-down is the best time to stretch. Stretching Types As previously mentioned, a proper warm-up should be performed at the beginning of each training session; however, stretching should be performed at the end of each training session. The only exception to this rule is if the sport and/or exercise in which the individual is about to perform requires an extensive amount of mobility and/or flexibility in order to be successful (e.g., gymnastics, cheerleading). In total, there are four types of stretches: static, ballistic, dynamic (aka mobility drills), and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). • Static stretching. This type of active stretching uses a slow and constant stretch with the end position being held for at least 30 seconds. If done properly, static stretching will facilitate a central nervous system response which reduces muscle tension thereby allowing the muscle to lengthen. This