Stretching - Don't forget to do it

By: Maverick Nichols- PT, DPT
Orthopaedic Rehab Specialists- East Clinic

At the end of a workout, the last thing most people want to do is stretch and perform a cool down.  With the busy schedules that so many of us have, often times we are simply happy to have had time to get some sort of a workout in and we skip the post stretching to get on with our day.  However, as we workout, our muscles we are performing contraction after contraction leaving them in a shortened state.  

Stretching after we workout helps to reset our body and return to a natural position and posture. Leaving the gym without addressing muscles that are overly tight can lead to problems later on with soreness and increased stiffness. 

Here are some tips to implement in your post-workout stretching routine:

  • Perform static stretches: Static stretching is a method of stretching that involves holding a position for a certain period of time.  With static stretching you want to stretch the muscle to a point that is tolerable and hold it at that point for 20-30 seconds before releasing.  Perform each stretch 2-3 times.  
  • You don’t need to stretch every muscle: After a workout, you don’t need to stretch every muscle, but instead focus on those that are exceptionally tight from either the workout or everyday posture. 
  • Breathe normally: Breathing normally while you stretch helps your body and muscles relax so you can receive the most benefit from your stretches. 

“What we strengthen we must lengthen!”
 
Maverick is a Physical Therapist student and is currently doing his clinical rotation at our West Clinic in Jackson.
 

StretchingMark Stiles