Who Needs to Stretch!?

Who Needs to Stretch!?

Sitting at a desk in front of a computer cultivating muscle rigidity and trigger points 8 hours a day? Living an active life leading to muscle fatigue and injuries? Adopting the correct stretching regime may help!

1)    Static stretching is passively putting your muscle in an lengthened state and holding it for a prolonged period of time (30 seconds)

  • Good for increasing joint range of motion and muscle relaxation
  • Good for postural related tightness/rigidity
  • Good for post-activity cool down as it calms the nervous system and muscle temperature
  • Good for preventing tightness formed by adhesions and scarring from muscle micro-trauma following heavy exercise or rehabilitation of an injury
  • Bad for pre-activity as studies have shown that static stretching causes strength loss in muscles and decreased performance in running and jumping, and may reduce coordination, leading to higher risk of injury

2)    Dynamic stretching is stretching the muscle while it is engaged in often sport-related actions (10-20 repetitions), an example being performing lunges and arm swings prior to a volleyball game

  • Good for increasing muscle flexibility while warming up the muscles and engaging the nervous system, which decreases chance of muscle injury during activity
  • Good for pre-activity as studies have shown that dynamic stretching causes an increase in muscle strength and performance in running and jumping

3)    Pre-contraction stretching involves contraction of the muscle (or its antagonist) before it is stretched

  • Good for targeting large muscle groups
  • Good for trigger point reduction
  • Good for rehabilitation – studies have shown that pre-contraction stretching increases bilateral range of motion which may suggest involvement of a neurological component
  • Bad for pre-activity as studies have shown strength loss in muscles following pre-contraction stretching

Happy stretching!
Mira Zhang RMT