3 Types of Stretching Techniques that will Improve Overall Flexibility
One of the most often overlooked aspects of training is flexibility. Unfortunately, for those who do skip this facet of overall physique health, their abilities to fully move through an entire range of motion becomes severely limited. For those who do pay attention to this component and work hard at maintaining or improving upon a certain degree of flexibility, their efforts will significantly eclipse those still struggling to touch the toes of their Max Hightop Bodybuilding Sneaker. Not every physique is the same and our capabilities differ from structure to structure. So with that in mind, here are three different stretching techniques for you to try so that you can find the method that works best for you.
The static stretch is probably the most commonly performed stretch out of the three types I’ll be discussing today. All it requires is for you to fully extend a joint and then completely lengthen the muscle to the point at which the feeling in that muscle becomes uncomfortable. Then, once in that position, you maintain that exact posture for a predetermined amount of time and then release and relax. The goal with the static stretch is to be able to lengthen the muscle being stretched further and further with each successive set of stretching you perform.
Of the three, this one in my opinion is possibly the most effective but most dangerous to use in the long term for improving upon flexibility. Reason being, the immediate muscular response to the stretching is quite substantial in that it significantly improves flexibility in a very short time but at a greater risk for causing trauma to the muscle. To perform ballistic type stretching, you follow the exact same method as described above in the static stretching except for the fact that instead of holding the muscle in that uncomfortable stretched position, you actually force the muscle to lengthen with aggressive type movements such as bouncing. Each time you bounce the muscle in its stretched position, you do in fact lengthen it but that ballistic type movement could also be too much and a tear could occur. Therefore, you have to be extremely conscious of what you’re feeling when using this method.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
PNF stretching is a highly sophisticated form of stretching that involves both the extension of a muscle coupled with the contraction of said muscle group all at the same time. What you would do here in the initial stages of this stretch is the same as for the static stretch. Once you are in that lengthened position, rather than waiting out the stretch or forcing the muscle to stretch further, you add resistance to the muscle while in its fully lengthened position. That resistance comes in the form of an isometric contraction. So while the muscle is being stretched, you initiate the isometric phase and then maintain the phase for a predetermined amount of time. The benefits of this type of stretch are seen immediately and amazingly so, you can see incredible and measurable differences in flexibility after only performing one set of PNF stretching.
Even though stretching and the importance of working on flexibility has been lost on many, don’t let it happen to you. The benefits are just too plentiful to ignore and if I were you, I’d use it as just one more opportunity to take a closer look at your Heydays when you’re stretching out those tight hammies!
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.