A common topic of misconception in the fitness industry: STRETCHING.
Should you be stretching? If so, when & how??
Muscle tightness doesn’t always mean you’re not stretching enough. Sometimes the muscle in question is just weak.
In that case, forcing a stretch can cause major strain and potentially lead to injury. Strength training with full range of motion, surprisingly enough, is the solution.
Performing strength exercises through the full range of motion (to the lengths and depths you can reach) will increase your stretching tolerance due to the added weight, movement repetition, and your body’s familiarity with elongating the muscles used.
On top of that, if you’re already pretty bendy, strength training may aid in stabilizing your (really) mobile joints.
There are two main types of stretching:
👉 Static stretching involves stretching a muscle to near its furthest point and then holding that position for at least 15 or 20 seconds.
The emphasis is often to focus on a single muscle group with each stretch. Watch to learn more »
Static stretches should be used as part of your cool-down routine to help prevent injury. Using static stretching as a maintenance stretching program will also help reduce your risk of injury.
But using static stretching in a warm-up prior to an athletic competition may actually negatively impact your performance. This is because static stretching may limit your muscles’s ability to contract. This condition may last up to 30-minutes following the stretch.
👉 Dynamic stretches are active movements where joints and muscles go through a full range of motion. Dynamic stretches can be functional and mimic the movement of the activity or sport you’re about to perform. Watch to learn more »
Dynamic Stretching improves speed, agility and acceleration. It involves the active tightening of your muscles and moving your joints through their full range of motion throughout the stretch. These functional and sport-specific movements help increase muscle temperature and decrease muscle stiffness.
Dynamic stretches are meant to be used as part of your warm-up routine before an athletic event or workout.