To Stretch Or Not to Stretch?

Posted on by Konstantin Chernukhin

Are you confused when it comes to stretching? 

Stretching has become complicated recently. There are different types of stretching: static vs ballistic vs dynamic. Add to that we have warming up and cooling down to think about too. No wonder you are confused.

Stretching doesn’t do what we all thought it did. We are understanding that stretching isn’t the best way to reduce your risk of injury. Stretching is more about adaptations in our nervous systems, than changing the structure of our muscles.

Practically, stretching is still effective for becoming more flexible, only if you need more flexibility in your day to day life.

1: What form of stretching is most effective for gaining range of motion?
Static stretching outperforms all other forms of stretching, if you are looking for long term changes in flexibility. 

2: How long should I hold a stretch for?
Research is showing that a 30-60 seconds stretch gave the same results as stretching for 1-2 minutes (or longer). This means we likely do not need to be stretching for longer than 60 seconds for any muscle group.

3: How often should I stretch?

Research has found that consistent stretching is very important. Stretching up to 6 days a week has shown to improve flexibility. With a total time spent stretching between 5-10 minutes a week as an effective dose. 

Do you want to feel better? Do you have 5-10 minutes a week? STRETCH!

Come meet with our Physical Therapist, Dr. Shawn Fife, to find out what stretches are best for you!