When it comes to training for strength, I believe that the best way to shape a muscle is to 'stretch it before you flex it'. This 'stretch within a strength' technique is very effective at recruiting more lean muscle as well as giving the body a long, lean and balanced shape.
More importantly, this method helps me and my clients become more present and engaged during touch exercises as well as life situations. With time and training you will start looking and feeling strong, fit and flexible as you increase the value and purpose to your fitness training.
Here are my top 5 'Stretch and Flex' exercises you can start with on a regular basis:
1. Bicep Curls: Start by curling your weights up to a flexed 'bicep curl' position. Slowly (2-3 seconds) lower the weights down to feel a long deep stretch in your biceps muscle. You posture is always strong, tall and relaxed.
2. Pushups: Start on a straight arm plank position. Slowly lower your body down towards the ground to feel a deep stretch on your pec muscles. Your posture is always straight, strong and relaxed at the neck, face and hands.
3. Lunges: Lunge back and down from a standing tall position. Slowly lower your body down to feel a deep stretch on your hamstring and butt muscle of the forward leg. Your posture is always strong and a your knees are bent over the front heel and under the back hip.
4. Situps and Rollups: Do a sit up from a lying down position. Slowly lower yourself to the ground to feel a good stretch on your abdominal muscles. Posture and legs are strong and relaxed.
5. Pullups (or Rows): From a pull up or row (arms flexed to your side) position slowly lower your body down to feel a stretch on both lat and tricep muscles. Posture is always strong and neck is always long.
In health and fitness,