Facts about Stretching
- Stretching can reduce your risk of injury, improve flexibility, and improve blood flow to your muscles.
- Stretching should be performed before and after activity.
- Be sure to perform a light warm up before stretching is performed, as stretching cold muscles can increase susceptibility of injury.
- Stretching after activity can decrease muscle soreness and assist in recovery, as it can assist in ridding the muscles of lactic acid.
- Stretches should be performed on both sides of your body and held for 30 seconds each if performed statically.
- Stretching can help improve alignment and posture. It increases mobility within the joints and helps improve the natural lubrication.
- Strength training routines should be balanced with stretching because of their ability to create tight muscles leading to pain.
3 types of stretching
- Ballistic: rapid bouncing stretching movement, uses momentum to force the body parts past normal range of motion, should only be performed by athletes or those advanced in stretching practices as it can lead to injury if performed incorrectly. Example: repeatedly reaching down to touch the ground to stretch the hamstrings.
- Dynamic: stretching while you are moving, active movements of the muscle that cause a stretch, but are not held in an end position. Example: Inchworms, Arm Circles, Knee to chest.
- Static Stretching: gradually lengthens a muscle while the body is at rest, minimally held for 30 seconds, maximally held for 2 minutes. Examples: Hamstring stretch in which you lift your leg off the table and hold for 30 seconds in one position.