Simple Stretching Offers Benefits Far Beyond Fitness


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Stretching is an important part of any fitness routine and is often used to help improve flexibility and increase the range of motion in your joints allowing you to move more freely. This helps reduce the risk of injury. It also enhances athletic performance.

Regular stretching also increases circulation and helps to improve posture by strengthening weak muscles and loosening tight ones.

Emotionally, stretching can help to relax and energize the body, as well as increase mobility and agility.

Different Types Of Stretching  

Depending on your goals, different types of stretching may be more beneficial than others. Whether you’re training for a race or looking to improve your overall health, understanding the different types of stretching can help you maximize the results of your exercise program.

These include static stretching, dynamic stretching, ballistic stretching, active stretching, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching.

STATIC STRETCHING is the most commonly used form and involves holding a single position for 10-30 seconds. It is best used after a workout as it doesn’t require movement or energy expenditure. Static stretches are great for reducing muscle soreness and improving flexibility.

DYNAMIC STRETCHING uses active movements such as leg swings or walking lunges before a workout to warm up the muscles. This type helps prepare the body for more strenuous activities by increasing the range of motion and reducing injury risk during exercise.

BALLISTIC STRETCHING should only be done by experienced athletes or those under strict supervision, as this type uses quick jerking motions, which come with added risks if not performed correctly.

ACTIVE STRETCHING is a type of stretching that uses dynamic movements such as leg swings or walking lunges. It helps prepare the body for more strenuous activities by increasing the range of motion and reducing injury risk during exercise. Active stretching can also help to improve flexibility and enhance athletic performance.

PROPRIOCEPTIVE NEUROMUSCULAR FACILITATION (PNF) stretches are a form of stretching that involve contracting the muscle group being stretched before relaxing it, with the aim of improving flexibility and reducing risk of injury. This technique is often used to increase range-of-motion for athletes and those with physical impairments.

By understanding the different types of stretching and their benefits, you can tailor your exercise program to suit your needs, such as improving athletic performance or just feeling better in everyday life!

When You Should Stretch And When You Should Avoid It  

Regular stretching is vital for many reasons, including improved flexibility, increased range of motion, and reduced risk of injury. However, understanding when it is best to stretch can help you make the most of your exercise routine.

One of the most important times to stretch is before any physical activity. This helps warm up your muscles and reduce the risk of injury that can occur during exercise or sports activities. Dynamic stretches such as leg swings or walking lunges are especially beneficial for pre-activity stretching as they involve dynamic movements which prepare the body for more strenuous activities.

Tips To Safely Stretch On Your Own  

  • Warm Up. Before starting any stretching, it’s essential to warm up first. This can be done by lightly jogging or doing other dynamic exercises such as jumping jacks or leg swings. Warming up helps increase blood flow to the muscles and prepare them for stretching.
  • Progression. When starting a stretching routine, it’s important to start gently and progress gradually over time as you become used to it. Always listen to your body when determining how far you should stretch each muscle group, and never attempt exercises beyond what you are comfortable with.
  • Rest. After completing a stretch session, always take a few minutes to rest before beginning another workout session or activity. This will allow your body to recover from the exercise and prevent fatigue or injury from overstretching.

Incorporating stretching into your daily routine is a great way to improve flexibility, reduce the risk of injury, and reach your physical fitness goals. Be sure to warm up before stretching, practice static and dynamic stretches, progress gradually over time, and take breaks between sessions for the best results. With a few simple precautions and a commitment to regular stretching, you can maximize the benefits of incorporating this important exercise into your daily routine.

Deepak Juneja is a freelance health and wellness writer and expert in website development.

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