Friday, February 6, 2015

What Type of Stretching is Best For You?

What Type of Stretching is Best For You? 

Setting goals is a common thing when it comes to the exercise world. Whether it’s reaching a specific weight or improving a personal record, we all have strived to reach a specific point. When it comes to stretching, we should also have specific goals for the type of outcomes desired. As mentioned in my earlier blog, “5 Benefits of Stretching”, we should participate in stretching activities at least two (2) times a week. Moving on from the benefits, it’s now time to discuss what type of stretch is best for you.

The most common type of stretching technique used is static stretching. Static stretching is the process of lengthening a muscle to the end of its range of motion and holding it there for 15 to 30 seconds. The goal while using this stretching technique is to improve or maintain general flexibility. Research has shown that performing static stretches before workout can lead to hindered performance, specifically in force output. So the key to remember is that you can static stretch any time, except before a workout.  1

Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, is when you quickly move a muscle in and out of a stretched position. Examples of these would be butt kicks or high knees. The point of dynamic stretching is to increase the active flexibility of a muscle group. This means that dynamic stretching focuses on the speed of the moving muscles and the body positions. Since the muscles are constantly moving, the central nervous systems comes alive and blood flow to the muscles increases, causing dynamic stretching to be the best type of warm-up for any workout or activity. 1,2 A few tips to remember:

  • Perform 6 to 8 specific exercises that cater to the type of movements for your activity
  • Start at a slow pace
  • Exercises should be done in a comfortable range of motion
  • Increase your range of motion and speed throughout the repetitions

Flexibility is the key to functioning and performing at our absolute best. Each one of these stretching techniques can help us improve. Just remember, there is a time and place to do each technique to get maximum results.


Sources:

1 Hartman, B., (2006). The New Rules of Stretching. Men’s Health. Retrieved from        http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/stretching-exercises

2 Rohmann, R., (2013). Examples of Dynamic Stretching. Livestrong.com. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/503162-examples-of-dynamic-exercises/

1 comment:

  1. An athlete or a sportsman should stay fit and active for a long career. Otherwise, due to lack of physical fitness they are unable to perform well in their concerned field. Therefore regular exercise and workouts are really essential and without stretching we can't flexible our body structure. So, we need to do stretching to get a flexible body fitness and good sports career. Here this article describes different types of stretching especially for sports persons.
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