Sean McCoy LMT

Dynamic Stretching

Never before in the history of our species has man been so sedentary. And the effects of our sedentary behaviors couldn’t be more counter productive to the goals of living an active healthy lifestyle. To counter this evolved postural freezing into place, one must find more opportunities to stretch. Often this results in a daily stretch routine. Often after a workout routine. And while anytime spent stretching is good time: this limited stretching being done post workout is not going to really help.

In addition to that 40-60 second stretch of a particular muscle group each morning; think about 40-60 stretches of 1-2 seconds each. If you will consider going to your “full range of motion” for even just a second, and doing that several times every waking hour. You will be doing one of the best things you can do to keep the benefits of your massage lasting as long as possible.

The following is a compilation of ways to target specific muscle groups, subject to computer posture, in a Dynamic Stretching mindset. However, this should only be used as inspiration while you consider your own daily routines; and where Dynamic Stretching might be integrated.

To Get You Thinking...


Doorway Pause

Raise your elbows to your shoulders and using your forearms; gently crash into the sides of an open doorway. Just a quick opening of your entire anterior almost to its fullest. This is not about pain, it is about going to that perfect amount of stretch. The pain, if you can call it pain, is that you only stretch for 1 second. Quick up, stretch and then release. You are on your way. How many opportunities can you find in your day for a Doorway Pause?

Variations of this stretch include a lintel reach for maximum pectorals and teres movement. Or hands out to the sides in "the prison handoff" as a way to stretch the carpal tunnel area.


Door Butt Drop

To quickly loosen and stretch the low back, go to the nearest door, and grab both handles. Place your feet at a shoulder width, or wider. Lean back only enough to feel gravity working on your Sacro-Iliac Joint (SI) Then gently rotate your hips and continue to encourage gravity to pull where it feels best.
This stretch is not really very sneaky, nor is it quick. I would encourage you to enjoy this stretch for several moments, at least. Stand up, reposition your feet and then gently drop back down into the stretch as a way to get more area stretched.


Chair Twist

Reach around the back of that chair and gently twist your spin. To feel the twist lower in your back, sit up straight and tall. Rock your hips gently while stretching to encourage an even greater amount of twist. For a deeper twist: turn and face the back of the chair in a seated position (if possible). Grab the back of the chair with the opposite hand of the direction you are going to twist. Use your hand to assist you in getting all of the twist available.
Remember! Stretching is about going to discomfort, but then easing back a little bit and enjoying the almost painful stretch.


Chair Squat

Where ever you are sitting, right now; just stand up, right? Not so fast. Actually, nice and slow. You can raise your elbows out in front of you, or just give yourself a hug.
Either way, make sure you are sitting up straight and tall. Now slowly stand up, moving your upper body, as little as possible. Think about how quietly you can stand up? And then, just as quietly, sit back down.
This is almost more of an exercise. But what you should realize is that when you hold your core still, as you are standing - you are gently removing inhibition from your Ilio-Psoas Complex as well as opening your quads.
This is the stretch: Just to not be inhibited.

Breathing & Visulization Reduce Stress

A technique known as “Box Breathing” is clinically proven to reduce stress [2]. It is easy to incorporate this technique into any dynamic stretching routine. By adding a layer of breathing control, you will also improve the overall quality of the stretch.

Start your dynamic stretch and slowly inhale for 4 seconds as you move into the full stretch. Then hold your breath for 4 seconds while you are in that full stretch. Now, slowly exhale for 4 seconds as you release the stretch and return to your starting position. Once fully exhaled, and in starting position; just hold for 4 seconds. You can repeat as often as you like, or be done. Doing this just once is enough to trigger the psychological benefit.

Another proven technique to improve stress reduction is “Visualization”. While you are “Box Breathing”, focus your mind on your particular vision of yourself in a state of relaxation. Or of being pain free. Even as little as 16 seconds of controlled breathing and attempted mental refocus can trigger stress relieving benefits. Especially for those who practice these techniques routinely. Visualization can be as simple as; imagining what you look like and how it must feel to be relaxed. Try to make your visualization one that is realistic, and in the moment. Trying to imagine yourself in your “happy place” might require more than 16 seconds. Try to keep your vision brief, specific and easily repeatable. As simple as the dynamic stretch you are about to perform. As simple as the box breathing technique you are adding to the stretch. A vision of you having already achieved your goal [3].