How To Do Stretching The Right Way

Stretching your body is the act of assuming a position that will elongate target muscles and the surrounding soft tissues. Certain parts of our body may feel tight and the idea behind stretching is aimed at loosening the muscles.

However, the concept of “warming up” fed constantly by fitness enthusiasts is so that muscles get accustomed to activity beforehand. This is so that we can increase muscle flexibility during the sport or workout and avoid stiffness. 

There are two types of muscle stretches. Static stretches are performed when the body remains static in one position while the individual stretches and holds the position for a short while, up to 30 seconds. On the other hand, dynamic stretches are accompanied with movement such as bouncing or swinging actions in order to improve one’s range of motion. 

Don’t Do Static Stretching

Holding a stretching position for up to 30 seconds is an old assumption perpetuated by athletic coaches and trainers. In fact, studies have proven that the opposite is true and that static stretching decreases muscle strength by 30 percent.  

According to a study by the University of Nevada, static stretching did not improve the capacity of the leg muscles of athletes whose leg muscles had more capacity without static stretching. 

“There is a neuromuscular inhibitory response to static stretching,” Malachy McHugh, the director of research at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told The New York Times.  

Why does this occur? The strained muscle does not recover for about 30 minutes, thus putting the athlete at a disadvantage. 

Do Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic warm-ups are performed by stretching with movement to increase an individual’s flexibility. Muscles do not receive an insidious inhibitory response and are instead charged to perform. Soccer players and basketball players need to exercise the full range of their motions hence dynamic stretches could help them succeed.

Squatting, lunging and crawling on all fours are some of the drills part of dynamic lunges. Overstretching leads to the supportive muscles becoming extra tight and unstable near the joints. Work with shorter ranges of motion by first activating your muscles. It will reduce aches and stiffness. 

Warm up Static warm ups do not let the muscle perform at the full potential, hence dynamic stretching is advised as it encourages exercising a range of motions. SimonaR/Pixabay