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How to stretch


How do I stretch?

4581 day(s) ago

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cabbagehead


Stretching should be done AFTER you've warmed up. You can perform them after your regular exercise routine, unless you have a severe training schedule: Tired muscles are less elastic.

Recent research has shown that your body needs a chance to recover for optimum improvement. Stretching should be done no more than two or three times a week.

Types of stretches

Ballistic: The muscle is bounced past its range of motion. This used to be the most common type of stretching, but has fallen out of use because it often causes injury.

Dynamic: The body part is slowly pushed into the stretch. Unlike ballistic stretching, the muscles and tendons have a chance to adjust to the new movement. Sports-specific stretches do this by mimicking the motions you make when you play.

Active: The stretch is held by using muscles, increasing strength as well as flexibility. Most yoga is based on active stretching.

Passive: The stretch is held by body weight or using muscles separate from the area being stretched. For example, lifting your leg to stretch would be active, but holding your leg up with your hands is passive.

PNF: This stands for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. It's similar to a passive stretch, except the motion is done by a partner moving one's body to perform the stretch.

Which type should you do? PNF is the fastest way to increase flexibility, but requires a partner. Passive stretches are the safest, but active stretches help your muscles adjust to the stretch better.

When performing a stretch, you should feel only mild discomfort. Hold the stretch for ten seconds, and then relax. Perform three or four reps.

You may see some stretching routines refer to agonist and antagonist muscles. These are just the opposing muscles that move a part of your body, like the biceps and triceps in your upper arm. To perform the stretch, you want to try to move that area of your body back and forth; Whether it moves or not depends on your flexibility.

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