They should, really, because it’s obviously your deadlift, your squat, and your bench. It’s very max lift. It’s funny it is called powerlifting. Sorry, we’ll talk power, which will be the Olympic lifts or heavy sleds. Then you go speed, strength, which will be lighter sleds, lighter jumps or loads, then into plyometrics, which isn’t as important for a powerlifter, and then into speed. Developing that strength effectively is important that it’s on…
Oh, sorry, there’s one layer between that. It goes movement, then it goes work capacity, which is essentially the ability to tolerate load. Obviously, you can’t go for max lifts if your body doesn’t have that ability to tolerate that load, that anatomical adaptation. What the pilates does, or what I would look at, is how do we then get the correct movements?
How do we move correctly? There’s essentially three elements that are really, really important for people to do. It’s either a mobility issue, it’s either a stability, or an activation issue, or it’s a motor control. It’s a technique element. There’s then ways that you can try to work on each of these.
Can sometimes be anatomical, which you can’t change. If someone’s femurs are longer, it’s just going to be much harder for them to squat deep. If you look at all the lead powerlifters or even the Olympic lifters, they all have the certain dimensions, but we can be as good as we can by correcting the rest.
If we looked at, say the pilates, how do we improve that movement base? There’s only three things that we need to improve. There’s the mobility, there’s stability, or there’s motor control. Now, mobility can be three different elements. It can either tightness in the muscles or tendon, the muscular tendon junctions.
It’s essentially like the SAR mirror, the muscle fibers are shortened. How you improve that will be like your static stretching. The key ones I would mention here is just make sure you never have that muscles shaking. If you’re doing like a static stretch, the muscles shaking…
There’s these things called muscle spindles in them. If you stretch too quickly and too fast, or too quickly and too far, you activate the muscle spindles, that shaking is basically the muscle we want to contract back. You need to first go have no stretch on the muscle. Move to where you feel the stretch for the first time. Hold there for 10 seconds to allow the muscle to relax. Take a breath in, breathe out, and move a little bit further into this stretch. The second way you can improve shortened muscles is what we call active isolated stretching.
I know your audience, Dave, David, are quite technical, so we can go quite technical here. Active, isolated stretching works on this thing called reciprocal inhibition. What that means is, if I was doing a bicep curl, as the bicep is contracting there’s a neurological signal sent to a triceps to relax off. Obviously, it just makes it easier. You wouldn’t want the quads, opposite muscles, contracting, which just makes the movement so much harder.
We can use that to our advantage when we’re stretching. The way you would do that is, we generally do this lying down. Imagine if you’re doing a hamstring stretch, for example. What you would do is, you would bring your own leg up, activating the quads.
Or, if we are in a 90/90, lying on the ground, and we’re going to kick the leg out to stretch the hamstring. Then we can have a rope and just give it a little bit of an extra stretch. Kick out for two seconds, pull it a little bit further for one second, then drop it back down a little bit.
Then kick out again for one, two, give it a little bit of an extra push with the rope, into a bit more of a stretch, drop back down. We’ll do that 15 times, in two to three seconds, which is going to be a 30 to 45-second stretch. We can do that for any muscle. If it’s for our calves, that we want to try and improve ankle mobility, where we just lie on the ground, we pull the toes towards the shins.
Then we have a little rope or a band and we just pull the toes towards our shin and a little bit more, as a little bit of resistance but the key is that we are constantly pulling our own toes like that the muscles on the front of the foot are contracting, and with reciprocal inhibition that causes a relaxation then of the opposite muscle.
I said we need to do that 15 times. The last way to improve the muscle length is a thing called P and F. I don’t know why it’s called P and F. It’s basically like activately stretch or isometric stretching and how that works is, if you contract a muscle, immediately following a contraction, there’s a relaxation.
If we get into a stretch, someone holds it and we push up for like, six seconds, at 50 percent contraction, then we relax, we breathe out, the person moves the leg into a deeper position to stretch again, not overly stretching, and he’s shaking will be way too hard just to be feel a stretch.
They hold it there between 7 and 15 seconds. If when you contract and you relax, you get this big increase of range of motion, hold the stretch for only like seven. If there’s not much of a increase in the range of motion, you just hold the stretch longer, that contract relax is not working really.
That is the first element of mobility.