The Importance of Stretching

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    Jun 10, 2013 8:44 PM GMT
    Stretching is so often something people neglect to do at the end of a training session because they are too tired to do anything else. Or when they do, they just rush through each stretch and so don't get the full benefit of each one.

    We stretch to improve our flexibility. Flexibility is the range of motion that is available to a joint or joints. Flexibility is important because:

    · It improves muscle balance around a joint, thus improving posture · It reduces the chance of injury when playing a sport or in every day activities · It increases the blood and nutrient supply to muscles and cartilage, thereby also reducing muscle soreness after training.

    Stretching Correctly

    Stretching should not be done as a warm-up to an activity as you could injure your muscles if stretching them when they are cold. At least 3 to 5 minutes of cardiovascular training is recommended to warm up the muscles sufficiently. Each major muscle group should be stretched slowly and with control, holding each stretch for 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 60 seconds. Hold each stretch at the point of mild tension or tightness, not to the point of pain. It is important to stretch after doing any physical activity. When muscles perform any exercise, they tighten and shorten as a result. Stretching them out helps to restore and improve their length. When doing strength training, you could stretch each muscle group directly after performing each set.

    When not to Stretch: · Following muscle strains or ligament sprains · When joints or muscles are infected, inflamed or hurt · After a recent fracture · When sharp pains are felt in the joints or muscles.

    References: Your Personal Trainer by Douglas Brooks

    By Bronwen de Klerk
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    Jun 10, 2013 9:02 PM GMT
    Does being stretched out on a St. Andrew's Cross count?

    126_standrew.jpg
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    Jun 11, 2013 2:51 AM GMT
    Lol I don't see why not. I have a high pain tolerance. icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 11, 2013 12:55 PM GMT
    I'm very attracted to the idea of stretching; I'd like to find a website that correctly demonstrates various stretches?

    Any info?

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    Jun 11, 2013 1:39 PM GMT
    FlyinBrian saidI'm very attracted to the idea of stretching; I'd like to find a website that correctly demonstrates various stretches?

    Any info?



    Check this out. Hope this helps. icon_biggrin.gif

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/lookup/filter/exercisetype/id/3/exercisetype/stretching
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    Jun 12, 2013 1:55 AM GMT
    Best stretching book:

    http://goo.gl/8FzAd
  • Drift

    Posts: 217

    Jun 17, 2013 8:10 AM GMT
    I'm going to go ahead and pop in the suggestion that there are other ways to lengthe and soften, rather than stretching, especially the static stretching you are describing. Although, if you're going to stretch, those are good guidelines (only to point of -mild- tension, and never to pain).

    The reason I question, is because of my studies into Taiji, and Feldenkrais. Both believe stretching of that sort stresses the nervous system, and encourages reflexive tightening (of both the muscle stretched and other structures surrounding), as well as confusing the body's ability to develop and recruit fine full body organisation/coordination.

    That said, I am still early in my studies, and will need to learn more before I am able to write more effectively about it, or describe the best ways to achieve flexibility using these methods. From what I understand, it is more about guiding the body/mind to more awareness of movement options, including those that require length and extension, as well as folding and contraction.

    Hope this helps