Stretching involves lengthening and widening the muscles of tendons, buttocks, biceps, etc. and may include some yoga or Pilates poses, to make full body extension and maintain a healthy and flexible body, increase the movement range and elasticity of the joint muscles. Everyone, regardless of gender/ age or body’s natural flexibility, should exercise muscle relaxation, even if you practice sports or not. With some basic routines, you can even practice while watching TV, sitting on the computer or before going to bed.
When joint muscles are not stretched frequently, they will be “bundled” and reduced in flexibility, especially because of the effects of time or regular exercise regimes that cause the body to suffer from large compressive forces. This will reduce the level of stretchiness, even cause some difficulties in daily activities. I remember someone said that weightlifters could not scratch their own backs. Or many girls are struggling when they are not able to pull the zipper of a new dress behind their back without the other’s support.
Though muscle stretching does not require so much time, it brings back a great result including:
– Reduce muscle tension, local muscle endurance
– Increase the flexibility of joints
– Improve coordination between muscles
– Increase blood circulation
– Quick energy recovery (due to increasing blood circulation and mental relaxation)
– Reduce muscle pain
– Improve the effectiveness of daily activities or exercise, sex, …
– Relaxing the mind
– Increase the effectiveness of sports and gym exercises
One of the biggest benefits of stretching is that you can increase the range of motion, which means your limbs and joints can move further without discomfort or injury. Stretching exercises can also support the recovery after exercise, reduce muscle aches and pains, increase muscle and tendon tolerance under strong and deep effects of sports or strength exercises and minimize the risk of unwanted injuries.
Muscle stretching is great only when it is practiced properly. Otherwise, it may cause serious damages. Here are some helpful tips to safely relax your muscles and prevent injur:
– Always warm the body before actually going into deep muscle relaxation. Be hurry when the body is not in the ready state is dangerous. Imagine your joints, tendons, ligaments are like a piece of rubber. When you try to stretch it may cause reefs or even breaks. However, with the right temperature, the rubber pieces will become flexible, more and more pliabl. It is best to stretch the muscle after heating or apply it at the end of the session, after completing other exercises.
– Do not lock joints when stretching muscles. Keep the joints slightly bent to avoid unnecessary stress.
– Do not hold your breath during practice. Keep breathing normally. You can also breathe deeply, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, it will help relax your mind, and of course, your muscles.
– Do not rush. The stretching is gentle but bring great results, which helps reduce muscle bundles and unwanted injuries.
– Never compare with others. Everyone has different levels of flexibility, not to mention you won’t really know how long it took them to do so. Trying to “imitate” will only make you overstretch, and of course, injury.
– If you have severe damage in the joints. For example, you need to replace your hip joint, never cross your legs or open your hips wide (over 90 degrees). It can have serious consequences.
– Do not transport too much or perform too hasty movements. Joint muscles need time to “adjust” and relax. When you do it so fast and strong, the reaction can make it more stressful instead of stretching your muscles.
– If it hurts, stop immediately. And start again more slowly. Never pull the muscles of your joints to the extent that you force them to “speak up”.
– Consult your doctor about the diseases or other problems you have in order to have a safe and effective exercise regime.
Maintain the position from a few seconds to half a minute in a position where the muscles are “stretched”, “stretched” to the maximum but still comfortable, usually between 10 and 30 seconds. This is probably the most common type of muscle relaxation, both popular and safe, highly effective and increases the flexibility of joint muscles. However, many experts believe it is less effective than Dynamic stretching in terms of enhancing the range of motion to achieve the best results of bodybuilding and sports.
Increase the range of motion through practicing with your partner or using floor, wall, roller, rubber ball, elastic band, … to be a “fulcrum” of force. This is a very effective way and quite easy to do; however, stretching seems to be easy so you tend to exert too strong leading to injury. Pay attention to the body’s perception.
Often combined with Static stretching. Or used in yoga exercises. Including “stretching” movements of certain muscle groups on the body without using the help of other muscles (muscle group isolation). For example, to stretch the leg muscles and tendons, you can lie on your back on the floor and raise one leg in the sky, keeping that position for about 10 seconds (no need to hold more than 15 seconds).
It includes a series of gentle and controlled movements, which help to warm up muscle groups, increase the movement range of joint muscles and avoid the risk of injury that may occur during exercise. Hence Dynamic stretching is often used before rehearsals to activate the body’s movement mechanism, stimulating the brain and muscles to prepare for a real training session later. It also helps pump blood, oxygen and nutrients to the joint muscles.
The principle is quite simple – imagine the types of moves, you will perform and magnify it, starting with small-amplitude motions, then gradually increasing, both the amplitude of movement and speed. A simple example is to rotate your arms or twist yourself about 10-12 times. You can also do sumo squat without weightlifting to launch the hip joint before kicking the ball, jumping into the squat and rotating the shoulder joint before entering a basketball game. It really works.
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