Hi, welcome to part 1 of my 2 part series where I talk all about stretching. Stretching has been a hot topic of discussion in fitness circles for some time now with researchers giving varied conclusions about the efficacy, type, duration of hold, when to do them, and what to do..
This blog is dedicated to these FAQ’s and part 2 will have selected few movements which have helped me and my patients over years.
Most muscles are attached at both ends to bones and movement of the muscle moves the bones. In simple terms, it is the activity of moving one end away from the other keeping one end fixed.
How should I feel
You should feel a gentle, sustained pull or tension through the length of the muscle. At no point should you feel pain. Keep breathing gently and regularly throughout the movement.
How much is too much
2-4 times with a hold time of 10 counts every 90 minutes is a good starting point… You can slowly increase the duration of hold as you ease into the positions.
When to do
If you are looking at performance its good to do the stretches as a cool-down routine
If you are looking to improve your overall flexibility good to do it in small doses at regular intervals throughout the day.
If you are looking to destress and unwind you can do a twenty-minute routine just before bedtime.
Like a menu card stretching also has a variety to choose from…
A block. yoga belt, bolster, low stool, window sill, wall, or even your kitchen counter can help you get into a stretch. So look around you and be creative.
Breathe into the chest and the belly while getting into a stretch and out and relax…
Certain lower body stretches can be done with a partner.. It adds a social component to our otherwise socially distant routine.
Active muscle contraction
Tighten the muscle opposite to the one you want to stretch. Hold the contraction for 5-8 sec and relax. Now gently lengthen the muscle you want to stretch till you feel tension. To stretch your tight biceps tighten the triceps and repeat as above.
These are my 2 cents on this.. please feel free to put in your valuable comments and suggestions … Take care and stretch well