What does stretching do anyways?
3 Types of Stretching and when you should do them
Static- a stretch held in 1 position for >2 minutes
Dynamic- a controlled movement pattern centered around increasing your active range of motion
Ballistic- rapidly forcing your body into a stretched position Don't do this!!!
First, static stretching has been shown to have an analgesic effect. When muscles are sore a static stretch has been shown to relieve some of the pain. Second, static stretching can also increase passive range of motion (ROM). That is, ROM that is restricted by neural tension causing the muscles to be tight. Think of neural tension as a whole muscle tightness, and not a sharp or stabbing pain in the muscle.
To increase your passive ROM and provide a temporary analgesic effect current research is suggesting you hold your static stretch for 2 minutes or longer. The best time for a static stretch is after a workout.
Dynamic stretching is a movement pattern that is more active than static stretching. You are actively engaging your muscles to you move your body through a specific movement. With a dynamic stretch you are activating your muscles to do a movement rather than passively pushing your body into a stretched position. You can do these anytime but they are best when preparing for your workout.
Ballistic stretching, in the past, have been viewed as a more athletic movement. I assure you however that you are better off not doing anything to force your body into a range of motion it is not used to getting into. Rapidly forcing yourself into extended ranges of motion will likely end up in injury. I would suggest you NEVER do any ballistic type stretching.
Want to learn more about static stretching and from rolling (SMR)
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