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Why Do We Stretch?



We all know stretching our body is “good” for us, but how does it help?


Stretching is lengthening our muscles until we feel that pulling sensation and is a vital component to both the prevention & treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. When our muscles aren’t stretched regularly enough, they can become shorter and tighter, which can result in pain at our joints and predispose us to injuries like muscle strains.


There are many roles that stretching plays in safe movement, including:


> Keeping the elastic properties of the muscle flexible and functional

> Ensuring muscle and other soft tissue, like tendons and ligaments, are able to react safely to movement and impact

> Preparing the body and mind for movement

> Reducing muscle soreness after exercise

> Assisting in stabilising posture so that tighter muscles do not pull your joints into uncomfortable positions


There are different ways to stretch, but the main ones are static and dynamic.


Static stretching involves lengthening the muscle until you feel the pull (not pain) and holding it still at that end of range position for 20-30 seconds.


Dynamic stretching involves controlled movements where your muscles are stretched as you continually move through your full range of motion.


How can you use them in exercise?


Everyone responds differently to stretching, and so it’s important to find what works for you. While both are beneficial, dynamic stretching is good for warming your body up, and static stretching is good for cooling the body down.


So don’t forget to stretch before and after your exercise to prevent injury, and come and see your physio for ways to incorporate stretching into your treatment plan.




Disclaimer: It is recommended to consult a professional before implementing changes to your regular movement or undergoing a new exercise routine. Any advice given by Trilogy Physiotherapy is done so in good faith that our clients have sought approval from a professional before undertaking activity.


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