An old exercise is new again. Although high intensity workouts like CrossFit have become increasingly popular, stretching, a traditional exercise, is suddenly the latest fitness craze. There are two popular methods of stretching: dynamic stretching and traditional stretching.
Dynamic stretching, in which you move through a range of motion, provides a full body warm-up, increases your flexibility, activates your stability and core muscles, and helps you improve your range of motion. Traditional stretching involves holding a position for 20-60 seconds and can increase your flexibility, range of motion and help prevent injury.
At the NEBH out-patient physical therapy and sports performance centers, we use both types of stretching as ways to improve range of motion, reduce pain, and improve athletic performance. Group classes and one-on-one training sessions with a coach or instructor are being offered to teach people how to position and stretch properly. These classes are designed to help people reduce tension, relax taut muscles and increase flexibility. Stretching programs are meant to supplement working out, and anyone can benefit.
Prolonged sitting throughout the day can result in stiff muscles and joints which can put pressure on bones, nerves and muscles, causing tension. Over time, this can cause joint stiffness and pain. Stretching can help to alleviate this pain. For some it may at first be painful to stretch, but over time, your body will get used to the activity, and as your range of motion increases your pain will decrease. Stretching after your work out is a great way to reduce muscle stiffness, as well soreness
Can’t make it to a stretching program? Here are a few stretching exercises you can try at home:
Always talk to your physician before beginning a new exercise routine.