Benefits of Stretching (contd) Reduces injury risk Stress reliever Improves individuals level of fitness
Types of Stretching Active: unassisted; the person stretching provides force of stretch Passive: assisted; an independent force provides stretch Stretching Tip #6 Both a warm-up and cool down are vital to optimizing your work-out. Both are important for your flexibility and overall level of fitness, so don’t skimp out!
Stretches using momentum, such as bouncing Used mostly by athletes, and is very “sport specific” Used very little by general population because of safety concerns Ballistic Stretching Tip #4 Don’t forget to stretch both sides of the body!
Dynamic Stretches that involve increasing range of motion (ROM) with control Different from ballistic stretches Stretches are controlled, and therefore safer
Static Stretches are slow and sustained Generally held anywhere from ten to thirty seconds Stretch is held just until the point of mild discomfort Safest form of stretching; recommended for general population Stretching Tip #5 If your not sure what type of stretches you should be doing, try them all! See what works for your level of fitness and flexibility.
PNF “Proprioceptive, Neuromuscular facilitation” Hybrid mix of active & passive static stretch -contraction-relaxation combination Provides greatest improvements in flexibility Typically requires a partner
Instructional Guidelines Stretching should not just be apart of pre-workout “warm-up” or post work out “cool-down” Flexibility is one of the five primary components of fitness Many individuals place less of an importance on fitness compared to other components like strength or endurance Stretching Tip #7 The American College of Sports Medicine recommends stretching 2-3 times a week, holding stretches for 10-30 seconds each The American College of Sports Medicine
Instructional Guidelines (contd) Flexibility improvements are typically experience fairly quickly Upper body improvements are typically seen in one month or less; two months or less for lower body Proper form and technique is essential. This is especially true with partner stretching Stretching Tip #9 Don’t try to stretch over- strained or ligaments; let them rest!
Safety Guidelines “Warm” muscles should always be stretched Slow, static stretches are the safest and most efficient stretches Never lock joints to avoid over stretching ligaments. Ligaments that are over-stretched can be seriously injured.
Safety Guidelines (contd) Never “force” a stretch; sensation during stretch should only be a mild tension/discomfort Stretches should never “hurt” or cause any physical pain. If stretches are painful, they are being done incorrectly. Avoid hyperextension of the spine. The spine can only hyperextend a few degrees comfortably. Too much hyper-extension compresses the vertebral discs and can cause serious injury Stretching Tip #2 Take your time while stretching. Rushing through the process defeats the purpose!
Quality of Life Stretching is vital to maintaining ones quality of life This is especially true as we age; muscles begin to tighten and our joint ROM decreases. Stretching has an anti- aging effect on the body Stretching Tip #1 Results show quickly, but consistency is key. For optimal results, stick with it!
Quality of Life (contd) Poor flexibility can adversely effect quality of life Lack of stretching can lead to joint stiffness, poor posture, and increased injury risk
Reasons for decreased ROM Postural stress Repetitive joint motion Weak core strength Trauma Stretching Tip #8 Pre-determine what muscles you will stretch before you begin. Preparation is key!
Reasons for decreased ROM Aging Abnormal body mass -excess body fat or muscle mass Trauma
Joint Stiffness Overall joint stiffness is caused by multiple factors Fifty percent due to joint and ligaments; ten percent due to tendons. Forty percent caused by muscles, the focus of stretching and maintaining flexibility
Joint Stiffness (contd) Maintaining flexibility will drastically reduce ones joint stiffness When done consistently, stretching improves quality of life Decreasing joint stiffness with stretching will also raise ones level of fitness