A Quick Guide To Stretching

Muscle-Stretching-booking a physiotherapy session

Working on your mobility can prove very beneficial, ensuring that your muscles stay in tiptop condition as you get older – and, to this end, stretching can really help keep them in fine fettle and keep you feeling strong, fit and flexible as time goes on.

If you do a lot of exercise, think of your muscles as elastic bands. If you start training without warming them up, you’ll be putting a lot of pressure on them and you could end up causing yourself an injury. A cold elastic band will snap if enough strain is put on it, after all! d

So before you hit the gym or the running track, make sure you do some mobility work and stretches before you start so that your muscles are nice and long, with no tightness that could get in the way of your workout.

There are a few different types of stretches that you might want to familiarise yourself with if you’re keen to look after your body more while exercising. 

Dynamic stretches, for example, are where you make active movements to stretch your muscles to their full range of motion, which can be very useful for more intense training.  Examples of this kind of stretching include arm circles, hip circles, squats, walking lunges, leg swings and so on.

Static stretching, meanwhile, is where you put yourself into a stretch and hold it for up to 15 seconds. Take a break, then go back into the stretch and push yourself slightly further (if you can). 

It’s important to listen to your body while doing static stretches, however, and you should never force yourself into a position. Simply go as far as your range of motion will allow. Static stretches are particularly good to do at the end of your workout, helping to improve recovery time and get rid of lactic acid buildup.

You can also try myofascial release by using foam rollers to iron out the knots and kinks in your muscles, but this can be painful and you may find that booking a physiotherapy session proves more useful when it comes to delayed onset muscle soreness.

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