What’s the place of stretching in training? How important is it and how much time should be spent on it? What are the benefits of stretching with a trainer’s assistance? Here are some tidbits about stretching and several reasons why stretching really is worth spending your session time on.
Fitness vs. fitness goals
The two top priorities in training are the client’s fitness goals and his or her well-being. Or is it the other way round? Trying to keep the client focused on their goals you may be sometimes tempted to considerably limit or skip the time spent on stretching. Especially as improved flexibility is hardly ever the goal in itself.
Nonetheless, flexibility undoubtedly is one of the components of broadly understood fitness. And for most people fitness is a part of well-being. So even if your client is not very much interested in being flexible and is not very fond of stretching or, what’s worse, thinks it’s a waste of time, make sure you do include stretching into your workouts despite all that. Come up with a creative way of adapting stretching exercises to the client.
As you probably know all the physical and neurological benefits of stretching, all the types of stretching and techniques, I won’t elaborate here on that. It’s just important that your client realizes the importance of flexibility and proper ROM (range of movement). Make sure you’ve explained it to them in the words of advice they will understand and follow.
Why it’s best to stretch with a trainer?
Yes, stretching may be a bit time-consuming, but it’s definitely best for the clients if they stretch with you. Why is that? There are several good enough reasons:
- Improper form in stretching exercises may lead to injuries – that’s why they need you there: to correct all the mistakes in form so they could stretch as safely as possible.
- Many of the most efficient stretching exercises involve assistance of a partner – and who would be better workout partner than a fitness professional.
- The assisted stretching involves a good sense of what amount of pressure should be applied for the most effective and safe stretch.
- After a particular workout, particular groups of muscles and tendons should be stretched with proper exercises. Make sure you client knows what they are doing and if they are doing it right.
- Being there when your client is stretching allows you to assess the progress they’ve done in flexibility over time. That’s another positive thing to mention when summing-up a stage in a workout program.
- Your client will feel safe and well taken care of if you help them stretch or at least supervise their stretching session.
Stretching is not an optional element of workout that may be skipped if the time frames are tight. You know that. Don’t let your clients underestimate stretching. Make sure they are getting more flexible as they are getting stronger and more agile. Make them remember that the full ROM allows them to work out more effectively in the long run – the 15 minutes spent on stretching after the main part of session will bring better effects in the long-run.
So the final and straightforward answer is: yes, stretching definitely is worth spending time, both yours and your client’s time.