What is stretching? Stretching is a form of exercise that lengthens your muscles.
When you work out often, or have poor postural habits, your muscles contract and shorten. This can hinder performance, create muscle imbalances or even cause pain. Stretching on a regular basis helps to reverse this shortening of the affected muscles.
What can it do for me? Regular stretching can increase flexibility, range of motion and also improve mobility and muscular coordination.
Stretching improves blood flow and circulation, assisting in recovery. Stretching can reduce pain and stiffness and can also effectively decrease stress.
Types of Stretching:
Static - The most common type of stretching. This is performed by extending the targeted muscle group for 30 seconds or more. Static stretching is best performed after a workout may assist in the reduction of delayed-onset muscle soreness.
Dynamic - A type of stretching where continuous movement is used to warm up and prepare muscles for more intense activities. Movements that closely mimic the activity to be performed are best.
PNF - PNF or Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation is one of the most effective forms of stretching in terms of improving flexibility and increasing range of motion. It involves both the stretching and contracting of the muscles being targeted in an alternating fashion. It is usually performed against an immovable object or with a partner providing resistance. PNF is commonly used treatment by health professionals.
Ballistic - An outdated, inefficient form of stretching which is still quite common to see in the gym or out in the park. This type of stretching uses the body's momentum in an attempt to achieve greater range of motion and flexibility. This rapid bouncing motion can potentially stretch the tendon or muscle too far, causing injury.
Get into it! Stretching is an important tool to have and can be implemented into any workout program. It will improve both your performance and your recovery time. At Vision, we provide a brief partner assisted stretch at the end of each session to give you a moment of well deserved relaxation after your workout. We also hold regular Revive classes which are dedicated to flexibility work so be sure to come along and get your stretch on!
If you need any more info on stretching or our Revive classes, speak to your trainer today!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.