Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, secure, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.
For example, sitting in a chair all day results in hamstrings in the thigh. That can make it harder to extend your leg or straighten your knee all the way, which inhibits walking. Likewise, when tight muscles are suddenly called on for a strenuous activity that stretches them, such as playing tennis, they may become damaged from suddenly being stretched. Injured tissues may not be healthy enough to support the joints, which can lead to joint injury.
Regular stretching keeps muscles long, lean, and flexible, and this means that exertion "won't put too much force on the muscle itself," says Nolan. Healthy muscles also help a person with balance problems to avoid falls.
Reasons for Stretching:
Benefits of stretching
Regular stretching can help increase your flexibility, which is crucial for your overall health. Not only can improved flexibility help you to perform everyday activities with relative ease, but it can also help delay the reduced mobility that can come with ageing.
Being able to move a joint through its full range of motion gives you more freedom of movement. Stretching regularly can help increase your range of motion.
One study found that both static and dynamic stretching are active when it comes to an increasing range of motion. However, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF)-type stretching, where you stretch a muscle to its limit, may be more useful for immediate gains.
Performing dynamic stretches before physical activities have been shown to help prepare your muscles for the business. It may also help improve your performance in an athletic event or exercise.
Performing stretches regularly may improve your circulation. Improved circulation increases blood flow to your muscles, which can shorten your recovery time and reduce muscle soreness (also known as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS).
Muscle imbalances are common and can lead to poor posture. One study found that a combination of strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups can reduce musculoskeletal pain and encourage proper alignment. That, in turn, may help improve your posture.
Tight muscles can lead to a decrease in your range of motion. When this happens, you increase the likelihood of straining the muscles in your back. Stretching can help heal an existing back injury by stretching the muscles.
A regular stretching routine can also help prevent future back pain by strengthening your back muscles and reducing your risk for muscle strain.
When you're experiencing stress, there's a good chance your muscles are tense. That's because your muscles tend to tighten up in response to physical and emotional stress. Focus on areas of your body where you tend to hold your weight, such as your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Participating in a regular stretching program not only helps increase your flexibility, but it can also calm your mind. While you stretch, focus on mindfulness and meditation exercises, which give your brain a mental break.
Tension and stress headaches can interfere with your daily life. In addition to a proper diet, adequate hydration, and plenty of rest, stretching may help reduce the tension you feel from headaches.
There are several types of stretching techniques, including:
The most common forms of stretches are static and dynamic:
Best post-workout static stretches: