5 types of stretching for flexibility
Flexibility plays an important role in movement and is often one of the most over looked aspects of training. Many people believe that flexibility training should be completed as part of the warm-down after exercising but rarely utilize this form of training at any other time.
The human body is a very adaptable machine that needs to be exercised regularly, and if a joint is not used to its full capacity regularly, it will eventually lose its ability to go through that joint range. As a result, the muscles associated with the particular joint(s) will start to tighten and stiffen up (our muscles have elastic properties and shorten during periods of inactivity), leading to joint problems and can increase the risk of muscular and joint related injuries. An example of how flexibility can affect the joints is pelvic position and the effect it has on the spine (anterior pelvic tilt leads to lordotic posture, posterior pelvic tilt leads to flat back posture).
The benefits of flexibility training range from reduced muscle hypertension, improved athletic performance (improved stride length during running, greater swing range during a golf swing), increased movement and mobility, and a greater opportunity to develop strength through a greater joint range, but how can we improve our flexibility? Flexibility can be improved via a variety of methods, and stretching is one of the most advantageous methods. Here are 5 ways to stretch.
1- Static/Active Used by holding a stretch with your own body weight. 2- Passive/Assisted This can be performed in a similar method as above with either a towel, a strong resistance band, or for a complete passive stretch- therapist assisted. 3- Dynamic GOLD STANDARD FOR WARM-UP MOBILITY- Commonly used in warm-ups to gradually ease into a good range of motion utilizing muscle contractions and maintaining a higher heart rate. 4- Ballistic Commonly used in gymnastics, and seen as risky as it places large amounts of strain on the musculotendinous unit leading to muscle strains. 5- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF – PIR/IR) GOLD STANDARD for immediate flexibility gains utilising a series of timed & calculated muscle contractions to improve the range of motion. For more information about our services and enquiries about appointments, email or call 07788 550 591