How Much Do You Know About Stretching?

How Much Do You Know About Stretching?

by Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTPLeave a Comment

People always mention the importance of stretching, but what does that truly mean? There are many stretching options for you, and the benefits of stretching vary with the type and how they are performed. How much do you know about stretching?

1. What are two common types of stretching?

A. Static and dynamic stretching are two common types of stretching. Static stretching is more focused on gaining flexibility and where a position is held with the targeted muscle on tension to the point of a stretching sensation. Dynamic stretching is a “moving stretch,” such as when a limb is moved through its full range of motion to end ranges and repeated several times.

2. How long should you hold a static stretch?

Answer: B. 30-60 seconds

3. Which of these is an example of a dynamic stretch?

E. All of these are examples of dynamic stretches that could be performed before a workout or sports practice.

4. What should you NOT do when stretching?

D. None of these are encouraged when stretching. You should always breathe during stretching to help focus on relaxation. Bouncing or ballistic stretching at end ranges is not recommended due to the possible increased risk of injury2. Stretching when muscles are cold is also not recommended; the best time to perform static stretches is when the body is warmed up or as part of a cool-down.

5. When is the best time to perform dynamic stretches?

Answer: A. Dynamic stretching within an activity-specific warm-up is ideal prior to workouts or competitions

6. Why should you perform static stretches?

Answer: D. Static stretching prior to a workout or competition has been shown to be detrimental in some cases1. Post-stretching strength deficits have been found after static stretching1 in athletes for running and vertical jump height. Static stretching can be added to a cool down or after a workout. This type of stretching is ideal when the muscles are warm and can help with overall flexibility.

If you want to learn more about proper stretching or ask questions, schedule a free assessment in clinic or virtually through our telehealth platform.

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

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. Page P. CURRENT CONCEPTS IN MUSCLE STRETCHING FOR EXERCISE AND REHABILITATION. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 2012;7(1):109-119.
2. Medicine ACoS ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. 7th ed. Baltimore: Lippincot Williams Wilkins; 2006

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About the Author:
Tara Hackney, a physical therapist in Marion, IA, enjoys working with all patient types, especially gymnasts, cheerleaders, and dancers. She is the prominent blogger for Athletico's Gymnastic/Cheer Program. With an orthopedic specialization and training in dry needling and Graston technique, Tara hopes to answer your questions about injuries and injury prevention in an easy-to-understand manner. She hopes to ease fears surrounding pain and injuries, address concerns about recovery, and provide tips to prevent injury. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, reading, and watching her nephews play sports.

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