As you age and if you become more sedentary, your muscles can become tight, leading to pain and injury. Assisted stretching can help boost the mobility and flexibility of these muscles by lengthening them either by movement or extending the muscles. Doctors and therapists may recommend specific stretches to their patients to improve mobility, prevent injury, and reduce pain. Here are five types of stretches that doctors or therapists may recommend:
1. Static Stretching
Static stretches are among the most common forms of stretching and are an excellent option for beginners. This involves holding a stretch for an extended period, usually about 15-30 seconds per stretch. A physical therapist or personal trainer may recommend static stretching after exercising when the body is warmed up. This technique is mainly recommended to help prevent injury and improve muscle flexibility. Static stretching can also help reduce muscle soreness after a workout.
2. Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching involves movements that mimic the activity or sport you are training for. Athletes often use these stretches to prepare the body for competition. Examples of a dynamic stretch include walking, lunges, leg swings, or high knees. Dynamic stretching can help increase muscle temperature, range of motion, and blood circulation.
3. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF ) Stretching
PNF stretching is a technique that can be used by physical therapists. It involves alternating between contraction and relaxation of a muscle group. A physical therapist may assist in a hamstring stretch, where the client pushes against the therapist’s resistance. PNF stretching can help increase the range of motion, prevent injury, and improve muscle strength.
4. Assisted Stretching
Assisted stretching involves using a trained professional like a personal trainer or physical therapist to help stretch the body. When stretching the hamstring’s muscles, a personal trainer can help hold the client’s leg and assist. This allows the leg to move further than it would without their help. Assisted stretching can be beneficial for athletes or individuals recovering from an injury. It offers a deeper stretch than an individual can achieve on their own. Assisted stretching may also improve flexibility more quickly than other forms of stretching.
5. Active Isolated Stretching
Active isolated stretching is a type of stretch that involves moving a limb or muscle group through a range of motion repeatedly. This type of stretching is ideal for those looking to increase flexibility and improve mobility. Active isolated stretching can also help reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury. Examples of active isolated stretches include spinal twists, quad stretches, and toe touches.
Learn More About Stretching Today
Stretching is an effective way to reduce muscle stiffness and soreness while improving one’s level of flexibility. Static, dynamic, PNF, assisted, and active isolated stretching are types that a doctor or therapist may recommend. Assisted stretching is an excellent option for anyone looking to improve flexibility quickly, especially athletes or individuals recovering from an injury. When choosing stretches, it’s best to consult a professional to determine which techniques are helpful for you. Incorporating different types of stretches into your routine can help you reach your fitness goals faster and with fewer injuries.