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A Guide To Stretching

Stretching plays a vital role during a workout in order to maintain your health and fitness and retain energy levels in the body. In addition, stretching can help your body to become flexible while also improving the motion of joints and bones.

Physiotherapists recommend a warm up session of around 10 to 12 minutes which usually helps in keeping the body active and vigorous. It is mostly suggested by the physicians to start and end the workout with some basic stretches for the purpose of flexibility. Each stretch should last for almost 30 seconds. According to clinical physiology if there is any injury or pain in a particular area of your body then stretching will provide comfort and relieve from that pain. If done properly through repetitive motion it can provide substantial relief.   

Stretching is not only done by athletes or physical trainers but also by doctors who are specialised in this medical field. Stretching helps patients with injuries in bones or muscles feel relaxed and relieved from tension.

It is important to be careful while playing any sport or doing exercises because a wrong movement can lead you to acquire a severe injury or long term pain in the bones or muscles. The right appliance of stretching techniques will definitely help you to prevent injury or muscular pain. One should always consult a doctor or a physiotherapist for the right stretching techniques and workout plan before performing any tough stretching exercises.

Rehabilitation and Corrective Stretching

Specific stretching that has been recommended by your physiotherapist for targeted muscles should be performed daily or as per your physiotherapist’s instructions. These will include specific techniques that will assist you in achieving your flexibility goals. The time for warming up for these exercises will take 2 to 3 minutes exercise or jogging sessions but at a lower intensity. Once you feel light sweat appearing on your body this will be an indication that your muscle tissue is warming up.

Types of Stretching Exercises

There are a lot of techniques that are used by physiotherapists in order to help you perform advanced stretches such as static stretches, dynamic stretches, ballistics stretching, passive stretching etc. We present a few stretching exercises recommended by physiotherapists below:

  • Back Stretches: A common condition found in many physio patients is back pain, which affects about 80% of the population at some point in their life. A physiotherapist can recommend a few simple and easy back stretches that can help prevent pain and aches.
  • Dynamic and Ballistic Stretching: These exercises are recommended by sports physiotherapists to be used for sport training or warm up sessions. Dynamic stretches involve the movement of muscles that move a joint through the entire range of movement that you would require in your chosen sport or activity.
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Stretching: This stretching exercise includes a component of stretch muscle contraction together with further stretch. The process for this exercise is repeated a number of times and it also uses a trick on the muscle spindle replex so as to elongate your muscles. This type of stretching is usually recommended by physiotherapists to enhance flexibility.
  • Static Stretching: This method is considered to be the safest. Physiotherapists recommend that static stretches should be performed for 20 to 30 seconds to the point where you can feel the stretch but not any discomfort. In case you feel any discomfort during static stretching then you can ease back on the stretch. It is also recommended to not bounce when you are holding the stretch.