Frank “The Crank” Camacho is all too familiar with a bruised, tired body. Human beings will always have a limit to their physical capabilities, and Camacho has pushed past his limits more than once; when that happens, he knows exactly what to do. Dynamic stretching, healthy vitamin supplements, journaling, and physical therapy are habits he has always emphasized in his lifestyle.
But how did Camacho learn that these healthy lifestyle choices were necessary to becoming an athlete? Camacho learned that he needed to be proactive and diligent, and he did not have to do it alone.
Certainly, he had supporters, friends, and family to help influence his lifestyle as a true UFC athlete. One of these proverbial pillars of support is named Seay Camacho, who frequently trains with Frank “The Crank” Camacho during Spike 22 training sessions!
In Camacho’s recent vlog, Importance of Stretching for MMA w/ Seay Camacho, Seay Camacho evidently talks about the importance of stretching.
We all heard the story: stretching is good for you, it’s healthy, it will help you avoid getting a cramp! But we never quite understand how, and why.
Seay Camacho explains, “Stretching out is very important, because it determines how well you perform during your training sessions, and it’s very important to take care of your body, especially with the amount of work we [at Spike 22 and Gof Metgot] put in with wrestling, MMA, kickboxing, boxing. It’s very important to get a good stretch out because it decreases inflammation, increases blood flow, loosens up your muscles, and the more you stretch out the less injuries you get while performing on the mat, especially at this high level.”
In Camacho’s vlog, Seay performs dynamic stretches and stays proactive while preparing for an intense training session!
THE SCIENCE OF STRETCHING
To understand the importance of stretching, it is beneficial to understand that there are unique methods of stretching. Stretching is more complex than most people would expect.
For instance, static stretching does not prevent performance injuries, regardless if static stretching occurs before or after a training session. Too much static stretching on muscles before exercise actually decreases its subsequent performance and may even increase the likelihood of performance injuries. The fact is: static stretching is mostly unhelpful, sometimes outright unhealthy.
In contrast, dynamic stretching is what fitness and health experts are referring to when they insist that stretching is a necessary part of an athlete’s training routine. Unlike static stretching, dynamic stretching is a sequence of active movement where your body goes through dynamic ranges of motion which prepares muscles and ligaments for an intense workout or sport activity.
In the the 2005 study of “Effects of Static Stretching for 30 Seconds and Dynamic Stretching on Leg Extension Power” for The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by Yamaguchi, T., and K. Ishii., the research claims: “[In a study of the effects of static stretching for 30 seconds and dynamic stretching on leg extension power in eleven healthy male students], each subject performed static stretching and dynamic stretching on the 5 muscle groups in the lower limbs and non-stretching on separate days. Leg extension power was measured before and after the static stretching, dynamic stretching, and non-stretching. No significant difference was found between leg extension power after static stretching and after non-stretching. However, leg extension power after dynamic stretching was significantly greater than that after non-stretching.”
How Long Should We Be Stretching?
Sometimes stretching can feel mundane, especially for those who are eager to “get it over with” whenever physical training and exercise is involved. It’s a normal feeling, and happens to everyone! It’s hard work, and we are not wrong to address this fact. However, exercise can be much easier on your muscles after even five minutes of stretching!
Stretching just 30 seconds per muscle daily has proven to increase mobility, compared to people who stretch 15 seconds per muscle, according to the study: The Effect Of Time and Frequency of Static stretching On Flexibility of The Hamstring Muscles. Of course, a human body is unique to the individual; in other words, everyone is different, and will need different styles in order to maximize their mobility! 15 seconds per muscle, 30 seconds, or 45 seconds—- it entirely depends on the person’s progress and what works for them!
- Adults require at least four repetitions of 30 second per muscle stretching daily to increase mobility.
- Children under the age of 13 typically only require 15 – 30 seconds of stretching per muscle (four repetitions).
- Senior citizens (elderly) require require 60 seconds per muscle stretches daily to increase mobility and improve hamstring flexibility, or least four minutes.
These stretchers per muscle should ideally focus on hip flexion, extension, abduction, knee flexion and ankle dorsiflexion. Of course, this is provided that there are no injuries or underlying conditions. It is important to take care of your body, and be patient with its progress!
Patience and perseverance is how Frank “The Crank” Camacho and the athletes of Spike 22 and Gof Metgot stay healthy safely.