Is Stretching Important?

How Important is Stretching?

When stretching is done properly, you can prevent injury and improve flexibility to attain a higher level of performance for your sports activities and exercise regimens. Muscles tend to tighten, thereby decreasing your range of motion as time goes on. If you muscle groups are not prepared for the forceful impact of strenuous activity, you can risk minor to major injuries when you pull or strain a muscle or tear a ligament. Along with preventing injury, stretching has other notable benefits such as stress reduction, improved athletic performance, increased blood flow, greater flexibility and a wider range of motion.

7 Tips for Effective Stretching

  1. Stretch before warming up. Warming up is the practice of getting your heart pumping, while stretching is preparing your muscle groups for the work ahead. Do not use stretching as a substitute for warming up.
  2. Stretch both sides equally. Pulling a hamstring on your left leg doesn’t mean that you can neglect your right leg. Injuries occur when both sides of the muscles on your body are not properly prepared to begin warm-up.
  3. Stretching should be performed with slow, concentrated movements. Slow movements will allow your muscles time to comfortably loosen. As you perform these slow muscle-lengthening manipulations, focus on one muscle group at a time to ensure you are fully stretching each muscle.
  4. Avoid stretching to the point of pain. The process of preparing your muscles for a strenuous activity should not pose the potential for injury, which is what can occur if you force a muscle group to stretch past your level of comfort. Feeling a little burn is okay as long as it’s tolerable.
  5. Hold the stretches for up to 60 seconds to ensure maximum effectiveness. If you cannot hold a position for a full minute, maintain it as long as possible.
  6. Carefully stretch previous injury sites. It may take longer to stretch out muscles that have been previously injured, so do not rush through it.
  7. Practice consistent stretching. In order to retain your current level of flexibility, it is necessary to regularly stretch.

If you are unfamiliar with the proper techniques of stretching, the experts of Family Chiropractic Care can guide you in how to stretch safely and achieve the greatest benefit from your stretching, warming up and exercise routines.

Schedule your appointment today with Family Chiropractic Care today to discover the many services we offer to start you on the path to a healthier way of living.