Stretching 101

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Stretching takes on many forms and can have varied results in different individuals. In the end, your body type, physical condition, and exercise goals will determine the best stretches (if any!) for your body.

For others, foam rolling is more effective. There are plenty of videos and articles describing “How To.” However, for the best results ask your physical therapist or personal trainer. At Vita, each of us has different instructions and cues so you may find Tommy’s perfect stretch is perfect for you or that foam rolling with Kate is the best muscle release. In the end, moving and moving well has a positive impact on function and athletic endeavors.

General recommendations on stretching can provide a starting point

-Remember, if you look up a general program, initiate the program with caution. The public stretching programs try to address all issues and are unable to modify the hamstring stretch for your low back pain or sciatica.

There are some things you can do to improve the results of a general stretching program:

1. Stretching should feel good! (if 0 = no stretch and 10 = max stretch, 3 is the goal!)

2. Use short hold times or dynamic stretching pre-exercise

3. To increase range of motion, hold stretches for 20-60 seconds

4. Few muscles are aligned straight up and down. Adding slight motion to the side can improve the stretch for your body

5. Protect your joints. If you are unable to feel the muscle stretch and only experience joint tension, consult an exercise professional. There are individual modifications and other muscle mobility options for you

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