• Donavan Pillai

A Far Stretch

It may seem like a far “stretch” to think about the benefits that stretching can hold, but better blood flow, a decrease in tension and a better posture, to name a few, does not sound all that bad, does it?

Some studies show a difference in the results of the benefits that static stretching may hold, like the negative effect stretching the muscle before a sprint etc.

Chaabene Frontiers 2019, concluded that static stretching must be applied with caution in elite athletes, due to its negligible but still prevalent negative affect on subsequent strength and power performances which has an impact during competition. Therefore, elite athletes would use dynamic movements prior to competition.

Chaabene Frontiers 2019 also concluded that short-term static stretches should be included during warm-ups before recreational sports.

There are many types of stretching viz:

· Ballistic Stretching

· Dynamic Stretching

· Acute Stretching

· Passive Stretching

· Isometric Stretching

Research has proved the benefits that stretching encompasses:

· Better ROM (range of motion) of the joints

· Decreases your risk for injuries

· Improved performance in physical activities

· Improved muscular control, the muscle’s ability to work effectively

· Increasing blood flow to the joints

· Etc.

When it comes to the body, tight muscles results in poor posture, so stretching results in better posture. How many of us spend hours per day before a computer or on our phones, causing the rounded shoulders and forward head that calls for a position of bad posture? Stretching these tight muscles such as the pectoralis, upper trapezius, and hamstring, to name a few, will result in an improvement of this poor state. This can then go further as poor posture results in the muscles to compensate and then result in pain, where most of us can relate on the prevalence that lower back pain has, where stretching can then once again become a remedy for this problem.

But with stretching, technique needs to be taken into great consideration. One can stretch, but if done with the wrong technique, it can lead to more damage. It is also important to know when to exercise caution, for example if you have a chronic condition or an injury, then your stretching techniques might need to be adjusted.

A Biokineticist can assist in the correcting of techniques, and contraindications.

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