Top 12 Everyday Stretches That Will Help You Stay Flexible And Fit At Any Age
When it comes to stretching, there are three main techniques: static, dynamic, and ballistic stretching.
Static stretching is the more well-know style and is commonly used for general stretching, but can inhibit muscle excitability, making it unappealing to people active in fitness and athletics.
- Static stretching is what typically comes to mind when talking about stretching.
- It is a form of active or passive stretching in which you hold a position for about 30-60 seconds, allowing the muscles and their connective tissues, fascia, to lengthen.
- This is the most commonly known style of stretching and has been seen as the status quo for years.
- This style of stretching may not be the best way to improve performance before physical activity. Using a static stretching program prior to engaging in physical activity may inhibit the muscle’s ability to fire properly.
- The primary reason for this is a reduction in muscle tension and an increase in length between resting muscle fibers.
- These two factors alter the length-tension relationship of the muscle, causing a decrease in muscle excitability.
- This in turn can directly affect the muscle’s ability to optimally function.
- Think of the tension in a rubber band. When you stretch a rubber band and hold that tension for a long period of time, you cause the rubber band to increase in length but lose the stored energy.
- The band’s tension is what allows the band to be functional.
- Our bodies rely on similar forces to propel us forward during a run, or allow us to jump high during a sport like basketball.
- If we overstretch our muscles, this inhibits elasticity, which inhibits our performance.
Dynamic stretching increases range of motion while maintaining muscle tension, making it useful for general stretching, fitness enthusiasts and athletes
- Dynamic stretching is a form of active stretching that is performed by engaging the desired muscle’s antagonist through the joint’s range of motion, only holding the stretch for 2-3 seconds.
- Because the stretch is only held briefly, the muscle is able to increase in length without a reduction in muscle tension or muscle excitability.
- By preventing the reduction in muscle tension, an individual is able to improve their range of motion without a loss in force production. Dynamic stretching is the style utilized by the therapists here at LYMBR. T
- his type of stretching is also referred to as a dynamic warm-up, which athletes use to prepare their muscles for the rigorous demands of their sport.
Ballistic stretching can increase range of motion quickly, but has a higher risk of injury than other effective techniques. We all know we should stretch – stretching safely and effectively will help you reach your health and wellness goals.
- Ballistic stretching is the most controversial form of stretching. Unlike dynamic stretching, ballistic stretching utilizes muscle activation through quick, jerky movements.
- This inhibits the body’s stretch reflex and increases the muscle’s range of motion through the force created by the bouncing. The extra external force produced can overload the muscle, increasing the risk for potential injury.
- Because the high risk of injury does not outweigh the benefits of the stretch, most fitness professionals do not recommend using this style of stretching.
When looking at the three different styles of stretching, we can see that they can all be utilized to increase range of motion.
The first things first: Be seated with some good posture. Doing that will help you do these stretches correctly.
You should keep your chin back and also down so therefore your neck will be aligned with the rest oft he spine.
You should start with some neck rotations but be sure to hold each side for 30 to 60 seconds. This applies to all stretches. In a slow way turn your head to your right and hold. Then face forward and then repeat tot he left.
For this one, make sure to pull your left arm down toward the floor, by holding onto the chair or just pulling down. You should tilt your neck tot he right side and drape your right arm over your head near the left ear, then switch the sides and repeat.
By keeping your posture solid, move through your trunk rotations, again holding 30 to 60 seconds. Your should look over your shoulder with your arms being crossed, and rotate to your right. Then face forward and repeat tot he left.
To do this pose, a little bit of-bend is all you need. It is actually enough to stretch out your spine without going too far. Go a little bit back and bend to stretch the spine.
6.Trunk Lateral Flexion
The trunk lateral flexion will give the sides of your torso a great stretch. You should bend tot he side while reaching the opposite side hand in a diagonal way above your head. Then repeat on the other side.
So now, it is time for a simple spine-stretching fold. Yous hall bend over in the chair, making sure the neck is on the safe position and also not hurting you.
For this one, make sure the top palm is facing towards your body while the bottom palm faces out.
By staying vertical, go in the classic quad stretch. While grabbing the top of the foot bend your knee so it will be extending straight towards the floor, then switch the foot and repeat on the other side.
For this one, you should feel your back leg’s muscles feeling the stretch, especially along the calf. While keeping your big toe on the wall and your both feet firmly planted, you should bend your front knee towards the wall. Thank switch legs and repeat.
So now, take a mat and lie down. Your other leg shall remain firmly on the ground. With your one leg straight, bring the opposite knee to your chest. Switch the legs and repeat.
In case you have an elastic strap, you should use it for this leg-extension stretch to get your leg even higher. While planting one foot on the ground, extend the other one into the air, best to a 90 degree angle. Then repeat with the other leg.
In order to finish it, you should stretch out the back of your thigh with this pose. In case the stretch is too intense, bring the uncrossed leg out farther. While keeping your back and back down , fold the right ankle over the left thigh right above the knee, and then switch and repeat.
PHOTO CREDIT: Business Insider