Most of us might think that stretching is only effective for gymnasts and runners. But we all need to change our mindset because stretching is something that we all should do. Stretching is efficient for improving the mobility and flexibility of our bodies. You should perform various types of muscle stretching regularly if you want to keep your muscles strong, flexible, and healthy.
The muscles of our body become tight and stiff when we don’t perform any activities for a long time. As a result, we become weak and less active and may have the chance of suffering from joint pains, muscle damage, and strain.
When you sit in front of your desk all day long, then it is harder to extend your leg and knee, and that’s why there is a huge increment in the number of patients suffering from joint pains. By doing regular stretches, you can keep your muscles strong and flexible by performing various types of muscle stretching.
Why stretching is important & its types:
Stretching is basically performs before exercise to loosen the muscles. But do you know there are multiple types of stretching that have different recommendations? Different types of muscle stretching is performed in different ways and in different scenarios.
The most common stretching types are static, dynamic, active, and ballistic. Among these, some of the stretchings are essential for warming up before workouts, while some are good for after a workout. Let’s check some of the basic stretching styles that help you to keep you super flexible.
Types of stretching that one should perform:
- Static stretching: Static stretching is generally performed when you are holding a position for a long time. This is performed while sitting, lying, and standing position. It mostly focuses on lengthening your muscles and helps you to maintain a position for a long time.
You should hold the static stretch for almost 30 seconds to get better results. You can perform this stretch after a workout to relax your body. The best examples of static stretching are the cobra pose and butterfly stretch.
- Active stretching: Active stretches are held for a shorter time as compared to static stretches. You can perform this with multiple repetitions. In this stretching position, you need to use the opposing muscles to stretch your body.
The best examples of this stretching position are straight leg raises while laying on the back and seated on the wall position. You can perform it before as well as after a workout.
More stretching & Less stressing – Stretch your body & fly highA fitness lover
- Dynamic stretching: Dynamic stretching is considered as one kind of warmup that is performed for improving endurance and strength muscle. In this stretching type, your joints and muscles actively go through a full range of motion. The best examples of this are standing straight leg kicks and walking lunges. You can perform this before a workout or as a warmup routine.
- Ballistic stretching: Ballistic stretches are similar to dynamic stretches. By performing this stretch, you can expand your joints and muscle pain. When you perform this stretching safely, you can get complete control of your movements. It helps you lengthen and loosen your muscles in a faster range.
This is helpful to improve your flexibility and also carries the minimum risk of joint issues. But before performing this, make sure your muscles are warmed up. The best example of this stretching is sitting in the toe, shoulder rotations, and many more. Perform these types of muscle stretching after your workout to get some rest.
Are you feeling stiff? The body parts that needs stretching
- Neck Muscle: Most of us are working on laptops for a long time. As a result, our neck tends to get stressed that leaves our muscles cramped. In order to get relax from neck pain, you need to perform neck stretches in between your office time. You can get some relaxation by performing a neck stretch that you can do in 20-30 seconds intervals. This is the easiest stretch where you have to pull your head and neck to the opposite side and then downwards. You can do this anywhere and get some rest for your neck muscles.
- Chest & shoulder: Most of the working guys and students go through shoulder pain. To get rid of this, you can start rotating your shoulders from a clockwise direction to an anti-clockwise direction. You can also do some more stretching positions. Like you can clasp your hand behind your lower back and keeps your arms straight, and raise them as much as possible. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Lats stretch: Lats is one kind of muscle that is in V-shape and present in our mid back area that helps to stabilize the spine. When you sit for a long time at a desk and chair, then this muscle gets stiff and tight. So, to loosen this muscle, you can do a child pose from yoga. You can also perform it in your workplace by using the computer chair as your support.
- Thumb muscles: Don’t you think that your thumb gets tired by scrolling the Instagram feeds & Facebook posts? Most of us use social sites for a long time that definitely creates strain. So, to take some relax you need to do some stretching by circulating your wrist to the clockwise and anticlockwise direction and all.
- Uterus stretch: During the period, some women suffer from unbearable cramps, right? So, by stretching your muscles around the hips, pelvis, and lower back, you can get rid of this. Through this, you can alleviate the pain and discomfort. Through stretching, you can reduce the tension and relieve some pain.
- Feet stretch: Feet are one of the most important body parts that need care and attention. We don’t think about our feet enough, but it needs stretching. Stretching your feet is a must in a day to warm up your body and to get them some relaxation. For this, you can try to walk on your tip-toes for just 30 seconds. In this way, you can improve blood circulation. Otherwise, you can also do the opposite rock back onto your heels that will stretch your ankles and reflexing your toes.
Benefits of stretching: Is it really good for you?
There are many benefits of stretching, and that’s why it is considered the best factor of fitness. Through this, you can improve your flexibility as well as another part of your body. If you want to reduce stress and improve your posture, then here, check the proven benefits of types of muscle stretching.
- Increases your flexibility: With regular stretching, you can improve your flexibility as well as your overall health. Stretching is the basic thing that everyone should implement in their daily to-do bucket list. Through this, you can improve your everyday activities and improve the mobility of your body.
- Increases your range of motion: When you are able to move a joint freely, then it gives freedom. Stretching on a regular basis can improve your range of motion. For this, you can perform dynamic stretching.
- Physical activities: If you are an athlete or a player, then performing dynamic stretching is a must for you. You can perform physical activities to improve your athletic performance.
- Increases blood flow: When you perform stretching regularly, then it improves your blood circulation. Through this, you can improve your recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
- Improves your posture: These are the major things that we all should have learned. As a student or as a job holder, you need to improve your posture while sitting at a table. Poor posture is the main reason for back pain, neck pain, and cramps in the shoulder. Therefore, by doing regular stretching, you can improve your alignment and improve your posture.
- Helps to heal: When you don’t perform any kind of physical activity then you muscle tighten that decrease the range of motion. In this case, you may face strains in your back. So, stretching helps you to improve your back muscles and reduce muscle strain.
- Helps to stress relief: When you are in deep pain, then your mind automatically gets stressed. In this case, you might have chances to receive physical and emotional stress. So, it is necessary to focus on the areas where you need improvement.
- Calm your mind: Stretching also helps you to calm down your mind. When you perform stretching, then your mind focuses on the meditation and mindfulness exercise that gives you a break and releases all your tension instantly. It also reduces your headaches and makes your regular life more healthy.
How to start stretching?
If you are new to stretching, then first, you should build some idea on this. You should make a proper routine to perform stretching on a regular basis. Your body needs some time to get used to. First, you need to learn the proper technique; otherwise, you may increase the chances of pain.
You can stretch anytime in a day. So, first, start from the dynamic stretching and then move to the static workout. You can give a total of 10 to 20 minutes in a day to stretch. The best time to do this before and after your workout as a warmup exercise. You can also do stretches before going to bed.
When you start the above types of muscle stretching , then you should focus on the major areas like the neck, lower back, shoulders, toe, and upper body. Hold the position while stretching for at least 30 seconds.
Risk & tips for safety that you have to follow:
- If you have already gone through any kind of injury, then you should perform the stretches after suggestion by your doctors.
- In case if you have any chronic injury, then you should visit a specialist or a physical therapist to know some protocol for performing stretching.
- If you have any physical issue that makes a barrier while performing stretching, then you should talk with your doctor. You can also ask them to suggest some alternative to stretching.
Safety tips that work while doing stretching:
- Don’t bounce: Ballistic stretching is the way to get flexibility. But in this stretching, you need to bounce more. So, as per the doctor’s suggestion, don’t bounce more. Don’t stretch beyond comfort: When you perform stretching, then you might feel tension, not pain. So, if any of your body parts create pain, then it means you are doing stretches beyond your comfort.
- Don’t overdo it: When you perform so much stretching or holding a stretching pose for a long time, your body gets stressed. So, sometimes stretching puts tension on your body. If you are stretching the same muscles of your body multiple times in a day, then it can cause damage.
- Don’t go into your stretches cold: Don’t perform stretching in the cold. Cold muscles make stretching more difficult. So, the best time for stretching is after a workout. In case if you don’t want to do exercise before stretching, then you can perform some easy warmup exercises for 5 to 10 minutes. You can also go jogging or light cardio.
What kind of stretching can one perform?
- Morning stretch: If you want to perform stretching in the morning, then you can loosen your muscles and warm up your body. For morning stretch, you can do the cat-cow pose. It improves the muscle of your spine, abdominal and shoulders. Besides this, you can also try neck rotations that will alleviate the stiffness of your neck muscles.
- Day stretch: If you want to perform stretch in the daytime, then you can go with the pigeon pose. In the daytime, your muscle got stiffed and tight after positioning in one positing constantly. Most of us feel discomfort after a certain period, so, at this time, you can do a downward-facing dog pose that will soothe your muscles for a long time.
- Night stretching: If you don’t have enough time to stretch your body, then you can do this before going to your bed. It helps you to make stress-free as well as improve your digestive system. For this, you can try child pose and kneeling stretch pose.
Wrapping it up: Stretching takes some time, but it is essential for your body. It keeps you healthy and makes your muscles stronger. It improves blood circulation as well as reduces your pain. If you are frustrated enough by sitting in the same position for a long time, then just get up and do some above types of muscle stretching to be active.