The Stretching Guide

Hello everyone!!!

Today we’re going to talk about a type of exercise which i am constantly inquired about. People around always wanna know the benefits and the ways to perform stretches to achieve better performance in their respective lives,whether its that of a regular office goer or an athlete. So, here’s a brief about it.

Definition

Stretching is a type of physical exercise in which a specific muscle, muscle group or a tendon is deliberately stretched or flexed. It has proved to be helpful in increasing muscle flexibility and improving muscle tone. It is also a great measure for relieving muscular cramps.

Different types of stretching are Static, Dynamic, Ballistic & PNF (Prioprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation)

Target area

Everyone knows the muscles areas of their body which need stretching so as to gain flexibility. If you don’t then scan your body movements and get to know about it. It’s never too late to start doing it. Stretching helps in getting rid of your poor posture too.

Stretch length

A stretch can be held for 10 – 30 seconds but it’s highly advisable to not hold upto the last limit so as to make the muscle hypoxic (depletion of muscle oxygen). there are more chances of inducing injury when the muscle is held in a stretched position for very long time period. It’s always better to increase the stretch load rather than increasing the stretch time. A stretch of 15 – 20 seconds is very healthy and is optimum in majority of cases.

Appropriate time

Stretching is great but it doesn’t mean it can be done any time or manner. A caution has to be taken whenever doing those stretches. Static long stretches should be done post/after exercise or workout sessions so as to decrease amount of the development of soreness in the muscles. If the muscle is stretched in a static manner before workout it weakens the muscle in terms of strength and power.

Don’t oppose the stretch

Never ever contract a muscle immediately after performing a stretching. There is absolutely no gain or you can say none of the stretch is retained if the muscle is loaded thereafter.

Slow & Steady

Any kind of stretching whether its done actively or passively, should be incorporated in a slow speed and stretching load should be increased gradually. If the muscle is stretched in a high speed manner then the chances of retaining an injury in the muscle is possible. High speed high intensity stretch can lead to injury in the tendon(part of muscle attached to the bone) hence resulting in inflammation & swelling of the soft tissue, and trust me neither of us want tendonitis as it is way more painful and moreover, takes hell lot of time to get recovered.

It is also advisable to go for slow speed-gradual load increasing stretch in case of rehabilitating muscles and soft tissues. Also, end range of the recovering muscle should not be pushed. It may further irritate or injure the soft tissues.

Breathe

Never hold your breath during stretching. Doing that will make your muscles tense rather than relaxing them, which is main purpose of performing stretches. Just remember to inhale & exhale calmly instead of holding or breathing in a high speed which may lead to hyperventilation.

So, stick to your normal breathing pattern to allow muscles to access oxygen while getting stretched.

Young athletic man resting after exercising on a rain.

Not too much

Stretching is good but overdoing it have its negative effects as well. If you are blessed or have achieved a good flexibility then you should focus on stability exercises as well. Over-flexibility takes its toll on the joint causing hypermobility thus leading to increased risk of injuries as well.

So, stability and strengthening exercises are equally important as stretching exercises.

Note: Kindly consult a Physio for getting a stretching protocol according to needs of your body rather than starting yourself.

So Stretch away the stiffness and spread that smile!!!

Any queries and suggestions are very much welcome!!

STAY BLESSED#STAY CHARGEDUP

 

 

 

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