Throughout my time in the exercise science world, I have been a Rehabilitation Technician, Personal Trainer, and Intern with the lovely CrossFit Virilis Community. One important lesson that I have learned is that taking a few minutes out of your day to stretch is incredibly beneficial to everyone. I will speak on one particular case that I had as a Rehab Technician. I had a patient by the name of “River”. When River walked in on their first appointment with me they required assistance to walk with both a cane and their daughter to hold them up.
River was so incredibly hunched over that they hadn’t driven a car in numerous years and desperately needed to focus on their health and delve into the world of stretching. I then started working with River on full body stretches and exercises which lasted an hour-long per session, three days a week. Additionally, River was given homework to work on extra exercises whilst at home. After each session with River, it was clearly visible that they were slowly less hunched over and able to stretch deeper than they ever could. By the third month, River walked in without the assistance of their daughter or cane but still had a decently noticeable hunch. This was a major accomplishment and they were glowing that day when they walked into the office without any assistance required.
River and I continued our sessions for an additional five months and in their last month of care, they walked in without a hunch, without their daughter, and driving their own car. It was an immensely emotional day as I was an 18-year-old boy who had drastically changed someone’s life for the better by introducing them to the fantastic world of stretching. In a mere eight months, River was able to undo a lifetime’s worth of damage simply by sticking to a regimen of stretching and consistently caring for their physical well-being.
It was truly amazing to see their progress in such a short time considering how extreme they were the day they originally walked into the office. Progressing at a constant rate throughout time and understanding your body is definitely key when it comes to not only day-to-day life but even to the CrossFit athlete. Keeping a constant healthy range of motion (ROM) can greatly impact one’s life by avoiding getting into a situation that River had to deal with to managing tight muscles and possible pains that are associated with said muscles. The key takeaway is maintaining physical health in a variety of ways and stretching is incredibly important for anyone and everyone.