Stretching is an essential aspect of physical training. If you ever started exercising without stretching, you must have felt difficulty or discomfort. Without adequate stretching, you even increase the chances of injury. There are different methods of stretching that you can incorporate into your physical routine to keep your muscles in top shape.
Static stretching is what people usually do when they are asked to stretch. It involves stretching your muscles and holding them for at least 30 seconds. It is the kind of stretching that causes the most injuries as well. If your muscles are cold and you stretch them, you are risking an injury. Static stretching is an excellent post-workout routine, as it helps in releasing some muscle tension. If you do it before the workout, you will lose muscle strength significantly.
Most athletes use this stretching technique to improve their performance. Dynamic stretching involves swinging your arms and legs in a full range of motion. It not only warms up the body but reduces the risk of injury as well. Perform these dynamic stretches before workouts to enhance your muscle power. The most basic of these stretches could include walking lunges and arm circles.
Passive stretches are simply modified static stretches only. You have to use the full force of your body for pulling the muscles. Professional athletes also use this technique. It helps in reducing muscular fatigue and spasms and is performed mostly by rigorous exercise or training. It can also be beneficial in reducing cramps and pains in the muscles. Passive stretching is an art, and not everyone can excel in it. But you should learn it anyway.
Ballistic stretching involves forcing a body part to move beyond its normal range of motion. Exercises like touching toes with a bounce and jerk are called ballistic stretches. The pressure increases our range of motion instead of restricting it and activates the muscle’s stretch flex. Ballistic stretching is beneficial for athletes, but it can cause severe injuries if performed incorrectly. I highly recommend performing it under the guidance of a certified professional.
While performing isometric stretching you have to resist the stretch you pose on your muscle. The method is applied to improve the range of motion of a joint. The stretching technique is safe and also strengthens our ligaments and tendons. You can ask a partner to hold your leg high up while you try to force your leg downwards. Talk with your partner to apply equal force before starting to stretch.
Active Isolated Stretching
Athletes and massage therapists widely use this stretching method. It involves reaching a specific position and hold it without any assistance. The technique is useful in improving the blood circulation while increasing the muscle and fascia elasticity. For instance, you can kick your leg up high and extend it, then hold the position with the help of your muscle.
You can include all of these stretches to make the most out of your workout session. Do not hesitate in asking for advice from your trainers. Ask questions and keep learning until you can perform all the stretches correctly. Good luck!