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-Benjamin Horning, DC


Stretching can have many benefits. They can range from improved flexibility to injury prevention.  They can also have a profound effect on the body such as in yoga.  It can help strengthen muscles while adding mobility.  When it comes to current injuries proper stretching has many therapeutic effects as well.  There are many ways to rehab a body part just with proper stretching.  Using the right type of stretch will maximize results.

When it comes to preventing an injury or to gain mobility using the proper stretching technique is very important.  There are two types of stretching, passive stretching and active stretching.  Both have their place and when used properly you will see better results and improvement in your mobility.  Passive stretching is what you would typically think of stretching –  long held positions to isolate and lengthen a certain muscle.  You see this in yoga poses or in athletics.  A typical example of a passive stretch would be keeping your legs straight and grabbing your toes.  Active stretching is more dynamic.  It would be using movement to get the stretching.  An example would be holding your hand out in front of you and kicking it your fingers with your foot while keeping your leg straight or swinging your arms back and forth.  These moves look as if someone was warming up and getting loose.

The real question is when to use each stretch? Overtime viewpoints on stretching have evolved.  Misapplication can cause injury which means knowing when to use each type of stretch is vital for your muscles health.  Luckily a lot of research has come out on the matter, which will be relayed via this article to help you properly stretch.

Active stretching is used prior to working out.  This warms up the muscles and allows them to get acquainted with whatever activity you are doing.  It prevents injury because the muscles get awoken and are not being strained.   Although many people passively stretch before a workout, they are operating on previous knowledge that has now since been debunked.  Long passive stretches may even injury an area before a workout.

Passive stretching is used usually after a workout.  This is done during the cool down phase.  It will help you stay loose while properly aligning any torn muscle fibers.  Longer stretching will help in improving flexibility.   Holding a stretch from 30 second to a minute will help get the best results.

When it comes to injury rehab, both can help. During regular chiropractic exams, I have often seen many injuries that could have been avoided if proper stretching was applied. Active stretching is often used in physio therapy to help regain mobility.  Passive stretching will help loosen muscles and make it easier for treatment to occur.

Stretching is definitely recommended for everyone. Athletes may stretch to prevent injuries or rehab from previous damage.  People practicing yoga may use stretching for a deeper meaning. Regardless for what your motives, I would highly suggest that you stretch every day.  This tend to yield the best outcomes.


(This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.)

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