Perhaps when you were in high school, you had trouble touching your toes with your legs extended straight in front of you.
Your flexibility can contribute greatly to the current sport you’re doing and preserve your ability to perform simple activities of basic living.
The lack of flexibility can lead to an injury. You’ll find that pulling your muscles would be more frequent because your movement goals are achieved using different muscle groups when you lack the flexibility in one of the muscle groups.
That is why it’s so important that our muscles have the flexibility to do what they need. Try out these 5 types of stretching to help increase flexibility:
1. Active static stretching
This form of stretching is most frequently used in martial arts and yoga. This mode of stretching is when you hold a particular position and maintain it exclusively with your muscle strength. The stretch is held by the strength of agonist muscles which is a muscle group responsible for movement.
2. Dynamic stretching
Dynamic stretching refers to stretching with movement. It requires you to mimic the movement patterns of the exercise or sport to be performed. This method of stretching is normally used to decrease the risk of injury and increase athletic performance. An example of dynamic stretching would be a sprinter doing long strides to prepare for a race.
3. PNF stretching
PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation which is referred to a stretch that requires a partner. It combines isometric, static and passive stretching to achieve this. Perform it by passively stretching a muscle; isometrically contracting it against resistance in the stretched position, and passively stretching it through the resulting increased range of motion.
4. Isometric stretching
Isometric stretching is a form of static stretching that strengthens your muscles. As a muscle is stretched into position, you resist the stretch. For example, have a partner hold your leg up high while you attempt to force back your leg in the opposite direction. Isometric stretching is the safest and most effective method for increasing the joints’ range of motion.
5. Ballistic stretching
Ballistic stretching refers to the use of bouncing movements to create momentum which moves the muscle into the stretch. This type of stretching was once popular, but after being under the scrutiny of the countless physical therapists, many experts argue that ballistic stretching can lead to injury and do not recommend it. Though there are some who say that ballistic stretching can improve flexibility as well as static stretching when it is performed properly.
Which one of these stretching techniques have you done before? Let us know in the comments below!
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