Part 2 - how

Static Stretching

For any given stretch the important point is to HOLD the stretch position at the FIRST point at which a feeling of stretch is felt.

NO further movement should take place and the feeling of stretch will slowly disappear, as the muscle stretches.

Repeat the stretch on the other side or take a brief rest and repeat the stretch as many times as you have chosen.

Duration of Stretch

The length of time you hold the stretch is largely a matter of personal preference.

The physiological minimum is now widely considered to be 6 seconds to achieve a lasting change to the muscle.

The longer you hold the stretch the sooner you will achieve your maximum stretch. For example holding for 60seconds will take six weeks to achieve the same as 10 weeks of holding for 30seconds.

NOTICE it will take weeks. Like other training stretching takes regular repetition to be effective.

Number of Repetitions

Again largely personal preference, three to five being the norm. Initial results are better with increased number of reps.

Once you reach your personal limit of flexibility fewer reps are required to maintain this level.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)

Faster and better results are achieved using the contract/relax cycle of PNF but most stretches require the aid of a stretching partner. Therefore I will not go into detail here but contact me if you want to know more.

Stretching - how and why (1)

 

This article was written by Terence Barnes a registered Osteopath and trained sports therapist. Injury treatment, therapeutic sports massage and biomechanical assessments are offered at a reduced rate to club members, just phone 07807 485893 to arrange an appointment.