There are many questions surrounding stretching -- like what type of stretching is most productive, how long should you stretch for, and how frequently should you stretch. But the most important thing you need to know is: JUST STRETCH!
It's easy to get caught up in all of those questions and not even begin stretching. But the truth is, even just 5 minutes a day can help! Stretching regularly (every day) is also highly beneficial. So let's dig in to some of the basic types of stretches.
Let's start with the best stretching you can do before a workout. The most productive and injury-preventing type of stretch you can incorporate before a workout is called Dynamic Stretching. This is a type of stretch that involves slow, steady stretching through a comfortable range of motion. A short 5-10 minute cardiovascular workout is recommended before you begin your Dynamic Stretching. Here's a link to some of our favorites: Dynamic Stretch Warm-Up.
After you've completed a workout is the next time to incorporate stretching. The best type of stretch to add here is called Static Stretching. This is the type of stretch most people are familiar with. Stretch until your muscles feel slightly (or very) uncomfortable and hold. No bouncing. Hold for about 10-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 times. Going through some of the larger muscle groups or the main muscle groups you used during a workout are the best ones to target.
Now we're ready for the ultimate stretching type. Facilitated Stretching that incorporates proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, or PNF (we prefer the abbreviation!). This type of stretching requires a trained individual to begin where you muscles feel tension, and then you create pressure against your stretching professional and hold that pressure for about 10 seconds. This is repeated several times. PNF stretching is a proven method to increase range of motion as well as increase potential of strength gains. Who can pass that up? In addition to all the benefits PNF stretching offers, you'll feel wonderful after even a 20-minute stretching session.
Want to add in any of these stretching methods? SIGN UP TODAY to have an experienced and knowledgable professional help you with the first steps!