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Static Stretches for Improved Flexibility

Static Stretches for Improved Flexibility

by Brandon Bowers, PT, DPT, Astym Cert.Leave a Comment

Are you dealing with tight muscles, or maybe you don’t feel very flexible? When used correctly, stretching can be a useful tool to address tight muscles and improve muscle flexibility. Recent studies have confirmed that performing low intensity stretches over a long period can improve flexibility. Let’s look at a handful of simple stretches you can do to improve tight muscles.

1. Chest stretch. Muscle group targeted – pectoralis

With your elbows bent to approximately 90 degrees, place your forearms on either side of a door frame. Place one foot in front of the other and move your chest forward into the doorway. You should feel a stretch on the front of your chest and possibly the front of your shoulders. Hold this position for 30 seconds; perform 3 repetitions.

Static Stretches for Improved Flexibility


2. Calf stretch. Muscle group targeted – triceps surae

Place one foot behind the other, keeping the knee straight and heel flat on the floor. Position your other leg in front with the knee bent and heel flat on the floor. Place your hands on the wall in front of you to support your weight, and then lean forward. The stretch should be felt in the calf of the leg that is behind. Hold this position for 30 seconds; perform 3 repetitions. Switch the position of your feet and repeat on the other leg.

Static Stretches for Improved Flexibility


3. Back of the thigh stretch. Muscle group targeted – hamstrings

Lay on your back with one leg straight and the other leg bent. Use a belt, a dog leash, or a bed sheet looped around the foot of the straight leg to pull that leg up in the air. You should try to keep this leg straight the entire time. Your flexibility will determine how high you are able to pull your leg. Use the strap to lift the leg until you feel a stretch on the back side of the thigh. Hold his position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. Switch the strap to the other leg and repeat on that side.

Static Stretches for Improved Flexibility


4. Front of the thigh stretch. Muscle group targeted – quadriceps

Lay face down with a belt, a dog leash or a bed sheet looped around one of your feet. Use the strap to pull your heel towards your buttock. Your knee will bend while performing this movement, and you should feel a stretch on the front of your thigh. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. Perform with the other leg.

Static Stretches for Improved Flexibility


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The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

References:
1. Takeuchi K, Akizuki K, Nakamura M. Association between static stretching load and changes in the flexibility of the hamstrings. Sci Rep. 2021 Nov 5;11(1):21778. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-01274-7. PMID: 34741110; PMCID: PMC8571324.
2. Fukaya T, Kiyono R, Sato S, Yahata K, Yasaka K, Onuma R, Nakamura M. Effects of Static Stretching With High-Intensity and Short-Duration or Low-Intensity and Long-Duration on Range of Motion and Muscle Stiffness. Front Physiol. 2020 Nov 20;11:601912. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.601912. PMID: 33329054; PMCID: PMC7714915.

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