There has been a lot of conflicting advice over the years when it comes to stretching. With varying recommendations, it can be hard to know which type of stretching is best and when to do it. Our Head Physiotherapist Katy has condensed the latest research recommendations into 6 top tips for you!
1 – A gentle warm up before stretching increases the muscle and soft tissue temperature, which can facilitate stretching. Examples of warm up activities include jogging or cycling.
2 – Dynamic stretching is generally performed before exercise or sport. This is an active stretch, where a muscle or joint is taken through its range of motion during the movement. This type of stretching helps to increase the elasticity and flexibility of the soft tissue.
3 – Be careful never to ‘bounce’ the muscle when doing Dynamic stretching. This may stretch soft tissue past it’s capabilities and cause an injury.
4 – Static stretching is commonly performed after exercise for recovery, and on rest days to increase flexibility. This involves holding a muscle or joint in a lengthened position for a sustained amount of time.
5 – Research suggests static stretches should be held for a minimum of 15 seconds, and progress to being held for up to 1 minute over time.
6- Stretching should always be pain free. You may feel ‘tension’ but should not experience pain.
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