The Importance of Stretching and Mobility

At the age of 15 I began a 10+ year journey with the end goal of representing my family, friends, community, and country on the highest level of athletics, the Olympic Games.  Although I fell short of that goal, I learned valuable lessons regarding exercise and performance.  Among the most important lessons include: 1) How to take care of my body before and after intense bouts of exercise and 2) How to problem solve through performance limitations.  Stretching and mobility exercises played an important role in caring for my body while participating in vigorous exercise and overcoming performance limitations.  Ultimately, I progressed from a novice speed skater in the small state of Iowa to representing the USA at international competitions.  Although these lessons helped me navigate the athletics arena, they may also be applied by anyone interested in improving their fitness and health.  Make a commitment to incorporate stretching and mobility exercises to improve body care and overcome performance limitations.

 

What benefits can I expect from incorporating stretching and mobility exercises into my routine?

Everyone can benefit from stretching and mobility exercises.  Do you suffer from back pain?  Does your body feel stiff?  Are your muscles sore from hard workouts?  Stretching and mobility exercises can help you decrease pain, stiffness, and muscle soreness.  In addition, stretching and mobility exercises promote mental relaxation, personal enjoyment, and gratification.

Physical Therapists and Personal Trainers here at Performance all agree that alignment, posture and mobility form the foundation of an exercise program that produces optimal results.  Stretching and mobility exercises can help you improve alignment, posture, and functional range of motion, enhancing your exercise routine and getting you closer to your fitness potential.  Make a commitment to incorporating stretching and mobility exercises to your weekly exercise routine and experience the many benefits.

 

How do I incorporate stretching and mobility into my exercise routine?

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends performing exercises such as stretching and mobility 2-3 days every week.  For my personal exercise routine, I add 4-6 movements to my warm up, following some light aerobic activity, to increase effectiveness and efficiency.  Your body responds better to stretching and mobility movements when it is warmed up and you save time by incorporating the movements as part of a warm up before more intense forms of exercise.

 

Want more information?

Check out the dynamic warm up and mobility posters on the wall in the southwest corner of the track for some ideas and guidance.  This is a great place to get started.

Join the stretch and mobility group fitness class every Thursday at 10:30am in Studio 1.  The class will be led by me and consists of a complete warm up of muscles and joints, a total body stretch, and mobility exercises.  Emphasis is placed on increasing flexibility and joint mobility, decreasing stiffness, and improving the total body range of motion.

Schedule a 30-60min private or group training session with a personal trainer for yourself and/or a group of friends.  This is a great way to learn more about stretching and mobility exercises that will enhance your exercise routine and fitness potential.

 

About Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal Trainer

Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal TrainerLevi joins Performance after enjoying a 12 year athletic career in the sport of speed skating. During that time, he competed nationally and internationally, racing in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials. Levi is a former Level 2 Speed Skating Coach and has worked with several Olympic Medalists and World Champions. As a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, Levi enjoys sharing the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle and is motivated by helping others achieve their goals. In his time outside of the gym, Levi enjoys working on cars with his father, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Tom P

Since joining Performance, I have made huge gains. The process of recovering from knee surgery has been much easier because of the expertise of the Performance staff in helping me get back to full strength. I would recommend this gym to anyone.*

About Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal Trainer

Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal TrainerLevi joins Performance after enjoying a 12 year athletic career in the sport of speed skating. During that time, he competed nationally and internationally, racing in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials. Levi is a former Level 2 Speed Skating Coach and has worked with several Olympic Medalists and World Champions. As a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, Levi enjoys sharing the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle and is motivated by helping others achieve their goals. In his time outside of the gym, Levi enjoys working on cars with his father, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Kim C

Performance Fitness Member

“I joined Performance and it has changed my life. Gone are the days when I dreaded trying on clothes at the store, Thanks to Performance, I feel like a super fit mom.”*

About Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal Trainer

Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal TrainerLevi joins Performance after enjoying a 12 year athletic career in the sport of speed skating. During that time, he competed nationally and internationally, racing in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials. Levi is a former Level 2 Speed Skating Coach and has worked with several Olympic Medalists and World Champions. As a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, Levi enjoys sharing the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle and is motivated by helping others achieve their goals. In his time outside of the gym, Levi enjoys working on cars with his father, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Seth D

Performance Fitness Member

Under the guidance of trainers, I have been able to decrease my 5K time from 28 minutes to under 20 minutes in just 2 years.  I have also lost 30 pounds while increasing strength, endurance and power.*

About Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal Trainer

Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal TrainerLevi joins Performance after enjoying a 12 year athletic career in the sport of speed skating. During that time, he competed nationally and internationally, racing in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials. Levi is a former Level 2 Speed Skating Coach and has worked with several Olympic Medalists and World Champions. As a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, Levi enjoys sharing the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle and is motivated by helping others achieve their goals. In his time outside of the gym, Levi enjoys working on cars with his father, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Connie R

Training over the last few years at Performance has been the best health decision I have ever made.  Leslie, my current trainer, keeps me on track to stay fit and strong, makes our sessions interesting and challenging, and is always positive, even when I have setbacks.*

About Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal Trainer

Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal TrainerLevi joins Performance after enjoying a 12 year athletic career in the sport of speed skating. During that time, he competed nationally and internationally, racing in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials. Levi is a former Level 2 Speed Skating Coach and has worked with several Olympic Medalists and World Champions. As a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, Levi enjoys sharing the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle and is motivated by helping others achieve their goals. In his time outside of the gym, Levi enjoys working on cars with his father, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Barry C Testimonial
Barry C

Performance Fitness Member

“I am a competitive cyclist and have been in personal training at Performance for 6 years. The best part about the trainers is that they know our medical histories very well.  Leslie is great at modifying a training session specifically to each individual person’s limitations so as to avoid injury.”*

About Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal Trainer

Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal TrainerLevi joins Performance after enjoying a 12 year athletic career in the sport of speed skating. During that time, he competed nationally and internationally, racing in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials. Levi is a former Level 2 Speed Skating Coach and has worked with several Olympic Medalists and World Champions. As a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, Levi enjoys sharing the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle and is motivated by helping others achieve their goals. In his time outside of the gym, Levi enjoys working on cars with his father, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Pat S

Performance Fitness Member

“I’m retired and enjoy a full, active life. This is due, in no small part, to the time I spend at Performance. The group classes provide a great workout and lots of variety. Plus, a fun way to meet new friends!”*

About Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal Trainer

Levi Kirkpatrick, Personal TrainerLevi joins Performance after enjoying a 12 year athletic career in the sport of speed skating. During that time, he competed nationally and internationally, racing in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials. Levi is a former Level 2 Speed Skating Coach and has worked with several Olympic Medalists and World Champions. As a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, Levi enjoys sharing the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle and is motivated by helping others achieve their goals. In his time outside of the gym, Levi enjoys working on cars with his father, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

*Results may vary