A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 7: Training for Mobility 166 Summary • Research indicates that prolonged sitting is detrimental to one’s health. To combat the harmful effects of sitting, individuals should get up and stand every 10-15 minutes or perform at least four minutes of physical activity for every 30 minutes of continuous sitting. • There are several anatomical and training-related factors that can influence an individual’s range of motion, mobility and flexibility. • Although often overlooked, a proper and thorough warm-up and cool-down are essential for performance, recovery, and injury prevention. • Since exercise and sport are rarely one dimensional, it is important to perform regular mobility work in all three planes of movement. • While all four types of stretches can improve flexibility and range of motion, ballistic stretching is not recommended due to its higher risk of injury. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching has been shown to be the most effective but requires the use of a trained partner. • The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that stretching be performed at least three days per week. However, several strength and conditioning professionals are now recommending that at least 10-15 minutes be dedicated daily to mobility work. • Tonic muscles (flexor muscles) tend to tighten with age, whereas phasic muscles (extensor muscles) tend to weaken with age. To prevent this, it is recommended to regularly stretch tonic muscles and to perform strength training exercises for phasic muscles. • Consistent prehab work of 10-15 minutes prior to performing physical activity can significantly improve performance and range of motion, as well as reduce the risk for injury. • Even though there are a number of different causes of low back pain, the recommended treatment for recovery and prevention is generally the same. Performing low back specific stretches and mobility exercises daily will go a long way in helping to prevent and recover from chronic low back pain.