Here are some of the benefits….
1. Increased muscle length and flexibility
2. Increased range of motion in our joints
3. Reduced risk of injury from tight muscles.
4. Increased circulation
How to be safe…
1. Learn how to stretch with proper body mechanics
2. Make sure you stretch both sides equally
3. Stretch large muscle groups – focus on hips, thighs, calves, lower back, neck and shoulders.
4. Don’t bounce – this can cause the muscle to tighten rather than lengthen.
5. Don’t cause pain when you are stretching. You should only feel a stretch.
How long should I hold a stretch?
Hold for a minimum of 30 seconds. If there is a problem area, increase to 60 secs.
How many repetitions?
One good stretch is usually sufficient. You can do one or 2 more if you feel the muscle is still tight.
When should I stretch?
Stretch after you have performed an activity, when your muscles have warmed up, or at the recommendation of your Physiotherapist if you are recovering from an injury.
A Physiotherapist can design an appropriate stretching program for you (along with strengthening and cardiorespiratory exercise), and tailor it to the activity that interests you.
R. Sian Owen PT