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Stretching is one of the most important aspects of a resistance training routine. ROM (range of motion) means moving a joint to its fullest degree and capacity.  Flexion, extension, protraction, retraction, elevation and depression are all biomechanical movements that require a certain degree of flexibility. ROM is a critical factor when it comes to performing dynamic movements in all planes of motion whether it’s sagittal, frontal coronal, or transverse movements. If range of motion is an issue when training with weights, good form and technique cannot be acquired. Lacking flexibility can lead to injuries because lean tissue is incapable of supporting joints. Muscles and its connective tissue, ligaments, and tendons require flexibility to hinder muscular pain that is associated with stiffness and tendinitis. Being flexible improves ones daily active lifestyle (ADL), and can reduce inflammation that can lead to debilitating pain issues. Keeping muscles pliable and flexible will help joints move to their fullest potential. 

Should one stretch before or after training with weights? Yes, if stretching is part of your pre-resistance workout routine, dynamic stretching is the best way to prepare your body for weight training. Dynamic stretching, before resistance training, will not elongate muscles and motor neurons will fire rapidly; this simply means, explosive muscular power and strength is less likely to be lost. In addition, lean tissue will not become weak or flimsy, and the risk injuring lean muscle tissue will be minimize. PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) and AIS (active isolated stretching) are flexibility techniques designed to help with muscular recovery, elimination of waist build up in lean tissue from intense workouts and elevates oxygenated blood circulation that will help the muscle healing process. PNF and AIS stretching also help accelerate the healing process. These types of stretches should be performed after intense resistance training. ATP Extreme Fitness trainers are certified in both PNF and AIS stretching techniques.

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