Stretching basics - a quick, expert rundown


Quick tip: always stretch to the point of discomfort, not pain.

There can be a lot of misinformation about stretching and its benefits, especially in performance strength training.

Here's a quick run down on the basic types of stretching and the best time to stretch for improved benefits from personal trainer and movement expert Abbey-Rose Rywak.

Static stretching involves lengthening a muscle until either a strength sensation or discomfort is reached.

Dynamic stretching involves the performance of a controlled movement through the ROM of the active joint (range of motion).

PNF stretching incorporates static stretching and isometric contractions in cyclical patterns to enhance joint ROM. (PMF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation)

When is the best time to stretch? Stretching before strength training may be detrimental to performance, however this is dependent on the length of the stretch, with longer holds being more detrimental. The best time to stretch appears to be post workout or separate from training. Mornings and evenings can be relaxation and promote blood flow.

How often should you stretch? For improved ROM of joints and muscles it is recommended to stretch 2-3 x per week, holding each stretch for 10-30 seconds building up to a total of 60 seconds.

Following these stretching basics and you'll increase muscle ROM meaning better performance working out and less injuries, especially in high impact sports.

Abbey-Rose is a professional health and fitness coach with 12 years experience in the industry. 

For more health and training tips follow Abbey on Instagram (@ar_mvmt_coach) or checkout her coaching website.

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