Stretch Movements, Not Muscle Groups

by Gray Cook |  Date Released : 19 Apr 2005

  • Introduction
  • Stretching before doing the movement
  • Excess length in one muscle group - tight on opposite
  • Movements that stretch and stabilize simultaneously
  • Hamstring injuries in the NFL
  • Brain doesn’t know the difference between fatigued and tight
  • Stretching feels good – but is it always right?
  • Every stretch must actively stabilize another part of the body
  • Sunrise Salutation – The ultimate stretch-stabilize movement
  • Stretching movement patterns not muscle groups.
  • Exploring ROM while supporting it at the same time.
  • Active stretching - Functional Stretching
  • Isolated stretching like isolated exercise
  • When to stretch?
  • Using the breath to clear the slate
  • Movement Prep – setting up the canvas for beautiful art
  • Hitting movement and mobility in 5-10 minutes
  • Stepping back into martial arts, yoga and pilates to find the simple truth.

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Gray Cook

About the author: Gray Cook

Gray Cook, a practicing physical therapist, has spent his entire career refining and developing functional evaluation exercise techniques. His interests have led him in two directions. The first was in the field of reactive training techniques starting with his Masters thesis. His work was developed into a journal article that was the foundation of a nationally recognized continuing education course for physical therapists and athletic trainers. The course is offered through the North American Sports Medicine Institute and the information ultimately became a book chapter. Gray’s second contribution was in the form of functional movement screening. This tool is not so much an evaluation for individuals entering rehabilitation as it is a screening tool for individuals participating in sports and fitness activities.

Gray’s first movement screen targeted the athletic population out of a desire to curtail the unnecessary injuries in athletics as a result of poor conditioning and poor flexibility that result in poor movement patterns. He realized that the one piece of information not currently being considered in the field of sports medicine, sports conditioning, fitness and rehabilitation was that movement is represented not by isolated singular movements but by unique patterns of movement that can either work together or against each other in the human system. Cook realized that a system needed to be in place to recognize and objectify these patterns.

Gray has lectured nationally and internationally in the fields of physical therapy, sports medicine and performance enhancement. He has served as a consultant to numerous universities and professional sports teams in all four major sports. Gray’s consulting is not limited to rehabilitation and sports medicine. He is equally sought after for his advice on conditioning and performance enhancement. Gray currently practices physical therapy in southwest Virginia and continues to publish and present topics related to rehabilitation and exercise.

Gray is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist with the American Physical Therapy Association. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a Level I coach with the U. S. Weight Lifting Federation.

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