Why do we stretch? The first thing most animals do when they begin to move is stretch. When we get up, we don’t always stretch. As a society, most of us spend all day sitting, not using our bodies very much. This causes our muscles to shorten, for a buildup of “fuzz” between our tissues to develop and our range of motion (ROM) to decrease. The stresses life produces can also increase our muscle tension, typically in the neck and shoulder area. We may always carry our heavy purse in one hand or sit with one leg crossed, creating imbalances in our muscular system. As we age, the tightness and “fuzz” builds up reducing our ability to move as free as we wish.
The variety of different ways to stretch.
1. Static Stretching : This is the most popular form of stretching. A static stretch is slow and held in a terminal position from 10-30 seconds in order to increase motion at a particular joint. This method is considered very safe and will not cause undue muscles soreness.
2. Passive stretching : It uses a strap or the assistance of another person to help.
3. Ballistic stretching : Bouncing into a stretch is ballistic stretching and not strongly recommended, as injuries are more likely.
4. PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation): PNF is a form of static stretching. This is a method of stretching that originated from physical therapy as a clinical technique. It is most likely used for rehabilitation and uses a combination of contracting and lengthening muscles.
5. Dynamic stretching : This dynamic stretching is keeping their muscles warm and preparing their bodies for the movements they will be doing soon.
Benefits Of Stretching Stretching helps send blood flow to your muscles and helps your joints move through their full range of motion. It improves your posture, gets rid of tightness, and lowers your risk of pain and injury.
Taking the time to stretch regularly is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Take a few minutes in the morning to do a few stretches and a few after a workout. It’ll keep us a good posture and move well for the rest of our lives.