Stretch to Win: how can it be modified for personal trainers?

September 10, 2010

Today I had my second stretching session as per the Stretch to Win protocol created by Ann & Chris Frederick.

First, I will say it is very effective for increasing range of motion. Posture and movement both felt better afterwards. Before getting through all 5 lower body modules, my low back was no longer rounding at parallel during a squat, and I was able to perform a much better hip hinge while testing out a 1-leg straight-leg deadlift pattern. I also felt my trigger points along both iliac crests scream like crazy!!

This is definitely an area I’m interested to see where the new knowledge will take us. With an hour of time with my clients, I need to do something to address tissue length, and I am interested to see how effective can we get in a very limited time. What I like about the Stretch to Win system is how it specifies that it is about stretching fascia as opposed to muscles. Many of their other S2W sentiments also echo the suggestions Thom Myers made at the seminar in Providence this past June.

My reservations are with a shotgun approach. How is a shotgun approach considered progressive? I have no doubt that some of it can help , but I would always like to see an assessment before attempting to affect mobility. How else do you know what actually needs stretching?

One particular “screen” during one of the modules is to take the lower back into a flexed position. What reason does this serve in a personal training situation? With everyone’s knowledge of sit-ups, hanging leg raises, etc and their lack of knowledge of core stability, I’m not convinced it NEEDS to be checked. Does going after core stability ever present a concern? I’m doubtful again.

Overall it seems like an effective, but time-consuming protocol. I think the next step will be to take from it what needs to be used to garner the desired result (increased range of motion and therefore, better movement/reduced injury risk), while cutting away any excess which is not helping to achieve the desired result.

Just to finish off, I also dislike the fact that you need another person to administer the stretches; do we need better self-stretches? Can PNF be modified for self-stretching? There also seems to be a lack of thought given to the short vs stiff classification…. (Although perhaps its just covered as a separate workshop/certification…hmmm)

Lots of food for thought, and for the most part it’s tasty.


2 Responses to “Stretch to Win: how can it be modified for personal trainers?”

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