We live in an era where if you dare to open the internet, you’ll find hundreds of different kinds of exercises that you can do, and all of them have different advantages, procedures, and results.
With all these different exercises used for very different things, we can get to our desired goals. Stretching exercises are the kinds of exercises that are the most popular ones out there.
They are basically related to gaining flexibility and toning the muscles and are also done after heavy workouts for several reasons. Down below, you will find all that you need to know about stretching exercises.
Total Body Stretch – Flexibility Exercises for the Entire Body
Now, these are basically the exercises, which are done by stretching or flexing a single muscle or tendon of your body.
You then hold that muscle in the same, stretched position for a while, making sure your muscles are taut and feel the burn. The aim is to increase the elasticity and the flexibility of the specific muscle you’re working on.
This is why athletes, gymnasts, and dancers are always keen to perform these particular exercises, as these help them in increased flexibility and freedom of movement, without any restrictions by the muscles.
Stretching exercises are also done after heavy workouts in order to prevent cramps. Apart from that, we stretch from time to time in our normal lives as well, without even realizing we’re doing it. For example, we sometimes stretch as soon as we wake up. That is stretching exercise as well.
Types of Stretching
There basically are seven different types of stretching exercises.
These are the stretching exercises that are mostly done after the workouts. These include stretching a part of your body to its full potential and holding it there for about 30 seconds.
It does not involve any pain, just a stretching sensation along with the muscle you’re stretching, and it’s not felt in the joints either.
Passive Hamstring Stretch
This kind of stretching is much similar to static stretching when talking about the amount of time we are required to hold a stretch and how are we supposed to do it.
The only difference is that in passive stretching, another person is providing the pressure and the force for the stretch, not you. For example, if you’re standing still, and another partner is stretching your leg out, that would be passive stretching.
This type of stretching can help relieve fatigue and muscle soreness after a workout.
This type of stretching involves swinging your arms and legs to their full range of motion. It is gentle and does not require a lot of pressure or force. The speed is gradually picked up as you proceed with the exercises.
Ballistic stretching involves the bouncing of a body part into a stretching position. It makes the muscles go beyond their normal range of motion in this way.
This way the muscle attains increased flexibility, but if not done the right way, these stretches can cause you more harm than good. People can find themselves susceptible to injury if they do it without expert supervision.
Active Isolation Stretching
This type of stretching is not commonly done by anyone other than athletes and professionals.
This stretching includes moving a specific muscle to a certain stretched position and holding it there without any further assistance. The only support your muscle gets is on its own, there’s no other thing to rely on, which makes these stretches comparatively harder than the others. They are done to increase flexibility.
This seems to be the simplest, as well as the most effective kind of stretching exercise there is out there. In this stretching exercise, you basically have to keep your muscle in a certain stretched position, while opposing that stretch at the same time.
For example, say your partner is holding your leg up high. You now have to struggle and oppose it, by trying to push it downwards. This can increase your muscle’s range of motion and flexibility on a great level.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation- Also known as PNF stretching
This is a stretching exercise that has several other different kinds of exercises combined with it. This is an advanced kind of exercise in which the isometric, static and passive stretching are all done at the same time, simultaneously, in order to make it much more advanced and take it to a higher level.
It is mainly done by professionals, but this proves to be highly beneficial as well.
How Long Should You Hold a Stretch?
This is a common inquiry asked by all the starters, that how long should we hold a stretch in order to make it effective.
The ideal time to hold a stretch would be 30 seconds, no matter what kind of a stretch you’re doing. 30-40 seconds can also be fine, but 30 seconds is the perfect amount of time that your muscles need to receive the effect and gain flexibility.
Anything less than thirty seconds, for example, 10 or 20 will not really make a difference, as nothing would change and the muscle fibers won’t get enough time to elongate, thus never hold a stretch for less than 30 seconds if you’re looking to have an impact on your muscles.
How Often Should You Stretch?
Stretching is a healthy activity and does not have any bad effects. If anything, it can work to keeps your, otherwise inactive, bodywork.
Flexibility: How Often Should You Stretch?
Thus stretching exercises are recommended to be done every single day of the week, but doing it even 3-5 days can make a big difference. Doing these exercises every day will help you get over fatigue, keep you active for longer without tiring, and will also help with your flexibility and mobility.
This way you can do all your tasks without tiring out or exhausting, and without your muscles protesting now and then. Doing the stretching exercises once every day is also great, and can provide you with a lot of benefits.
This article has provided you the needed information about stretching exercises. Let us know your thoughts regarding this topic and help us expand everyone’s knowledge by dropping your comments and suggestions below.