Stretch or strength? Use isometric training in your yoga warm-up

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Author: Lauren Eirk
Date: Jan. 2008
From: IDEA Fitness Journal(Vol. 5, Issue 1)
Publisher: IDEA Health & Fitness
Document Type: Article
Length: 697 words

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Some people believe that stretching before exercise lowers your injury risk. However, research has found that mild stretching can cause damage at the cytoskeletal level of the muscle (Bracko 2002). Static stretching has an analgesic effect; the body uses this protective mechanism to increase tolerance for pain during stretching. Once this effect is triggered, it's not a good idea to add more challenge to the anesthetized muscle.

With the above in mind, what does belong in a yoga warm-up? A warm-up should prepare the body for the activities to follow. Many people view yoga as an extreme-range-of-motion activity in which you push yourself deeper and deeper into poses, trying to achieve a goal that could be impossible for your body and might lead to injury. However, hatha yoga uses the isometric principle, which basically means that an isometric contraction in a specific joint position will increase the joint's range of motion 15 degrees above and below that position. We can use this technique to safely "teach" the body to allow for increased range. If...

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Source Citation
Eirk, Lauren. "Stretch or strength? Use isometric training in your yoga warm-up." IDEA Fitness Journal, vol. 5, no. 1, 2008, p. 84. Accessed 14 May 2021.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A173228273