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Stretching with Stephanie Carvaci

Stretching

Flexibility is an important part of fitness and overall health. Daily activities would be much more challenging without the ability to bend over, twist, or squat.

Athletes

Pre-workout stretches: Most of us were taught in school to do some static stretches (holding a pose for 20-30 seconds) before we exercise. Stretching before a workout has been proven to decrease risks of injury, however we have been stretching incorrectly. Before we stretch our muscles need to be warmed up, like a rubber band if it is cold it’s more likely to snap. Light easy movements, jogging on the spot, etc. The stretches should be Dynamic, leg swings, arm circles, etc, this will prepare your body to move in its full range of motion.

Post-workout stretches: As mentioned above muscles need to be warm when stretching, this makes post workout the best time to stretch. Static stretches (holding a pose for 20-30 seconds) are great for increasing your range of motion and flexibility.

Office workers

Do your shoulders, neck or back ever hurt after a day in the office?
Spending long periods of time seated can tighten up hip flexors and hamstrings, eventually affecting your spine health. Stretching these muscles can really help to both prevent and alleviate back pain.

Hip Flexor Stretch
Hip flexor stretch

Hamstring Stretch
Hamstring stretch

Stretching for 10-20 min a day.

In treatments

Remedial therapist can take you through passive stretches (stretching you muscles in a relaxed state) and PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretches. PNF involves both stretching and contracting of the targeted muscle group. It aids in rehabilitation, increasing flexibility and improving muscular strength.

When a muscle is being stretched too far your nerves send a message to your brain which tells the muscles to contract, this stops the stretching to prevent injuries. This is why when we perform stretches it may feel uncomfortable, because our body is trying to protect itself. PNF tricks the nervous system into stretching further by contracting the muscle several times during the stretch.

“It may have taken you many months to get tight muscles, so you’re not going to be flexible after one or two sessions. Remember to stretch!”

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