Friday, April 27, 2012

Stretching DVDs

One of the things that happens to adult skaters is that they accumulate injuries the way diplomats accumulate parking tickets. While diplomats have immunity, we poor skaters don't. We pay for our injuries every day. So it pays to work on maintaining some reserve fitness.

Fortunately, I'm of a get up and go personality. I don't like sitting around bemoaning my fate. So, first things first: Sitting is killing you. At work I don't use IM or the phone. I get up and walk to talk to people. It helps keep the joints from stiffening up during the day.  Also,  I keep my back straight when walking or sitting. Those little things can contribute to feeling good throughout the day.

Secondly, I've always been a big believer in stretching. I'm not talking here about stretching to get that Beillman. I'm talking about stretches that help keep you going in spite of the pain in joints, muscles, and tendons. Here are some good DVD's to help.

Annette Fletcher Save Your Back -- Release Strengthen Stretch.
This video starts out deceptively easy. The three segments each last about 12 minutes. I like doing all of them in one sitting. In Release you relax the muscles and joints and warm them up for the challenge to come. In Strengthen you do some exercises to support your back by building up the core muscles. Then in Stretch, it's pretzel time! Because of the preparation in the first two segments, I was able to get into deep stretch even in the most extreme positions without pain.

If you have a beillman--maybe not for you. On the other hand, I'm flexible and I felt it was worthwhile. My back felt great after doing it once. If you have back issues, well, it's designed for people with those so look at it on Amazon and see what you think.

Cathe Friedrich Stretch Max
I bought this thinking it would be intimidating. Some of Cathe's strength videos are beyond me at the weights she uses. This stretch video is good and doable by a fit adult. It presents some nice exercises for opening the hips. It's not an extreme stretch video like some yoga videos that require a year of practice to complete. The Cathe video offers three stretch programs: no equipment required, on the ball, and resistance band. (You will need a mat) I like doing the no equipment one, and the resistance band one. Taken together these two really hit skater stretch needs. In the no equipment segment lots of emphasis on getting open hips and working those hip flexors. In the resistance band one, more hip work and work on the articulation of the feet and ankles. Great video. 

Why yes, I have been working on my stretching.

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