Stretching is the bridge between a sedentary and an active life (wikipedia).
Thanks to stretching we can keep muscles flexible and prepare them for movement. It is vital in warming up, physical education, training, muscle strengthening (weights), gymnastics, and for any physical activity in general.
On this website you will find different sets of stretches (or stretching routines), appropriate for before and after all kinds of physical and muscle exercises and sports.
You can design you own personal stretching routine and keep it or send it to a friend.
These stretches are easy, but they can do more harm than good if they are not done properly. Therefore, it is essential to know how and when to do them (if you have any questions, ask your doctor, SEE OUR DISCLAIMER).
Read our help if you have any questions on using this website.
To increase flexibility.
To increase extension of movements.
To avoid common injuries, such as pulling muscles, sprains, tendinitis and aches in joints, etc....
They can help us with a wide range of problems such as fascitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, wind, insomnia, menstruation, sciatica, stress, headache, back pain, tendinitis, etc....
To reduce muscle tension and relax the body.
To improve coordination of movements.
To improve knowledge of the body.
To improve and speed up circulation and oxygenation of the muscle and therefore its recovery.
Stretching after exercise prevents muscle hardening (delayed onset muscle soreness, DOMS).
A pleasant feeling.
When to stretch:
Always after you have finished exercising.
After warming up, especially if the sport you are going to do includes changes of direction and speed, such as basketball, snowboarding, tennis or squash.
At any time of the day, in work, while exercising, getting up, before going to bed....
Stretch, at least, 3 or 4 times in the morning to maintain flexibility.
How to stretch:
Always warm up before stretching (see section on warming up).
The proper way is with a gentle and maintained tension.
Pay attention to the muscles that are being stretched.
Adapt the exercises to the muscle structure, flexibility, physical qualities and degrees of tension of each person.
How NOT to stretch:
Do not bounce. Stretches must be relaxed and gradual.
Do not stretch the muscle until you feel pain.
Do not overdo it. We can cause a contraction if we overdo the stretch.
Do not hold your breath while stretching.
It must be slow, rhythmic and controlled.
If you are bending forwards to stretch a muscle, exhale while you are doing this movement and after we breathe while stretching.
You must not be short of breath while holding muscle tension.
If this position prevents you from breathing naturally, it is because you are not relaxed. We must reduce tension until we can breathe naturally.
Types of stretches:
Static: They consist of stretching at rest. The muscle is stretched to a particular position and held for 10 to 30 seconds. This means stretching to the limit of what is comfortable. It is the technique to use in the stretches on this website..
Dynamic: They consist of stretching by propelling but without exceeding the limits of static stretches.
Active: It is a type of static stretch, it consists of stretching by using the antagonist muscle without external assistance.
Pasive: It is a kind of static stretch in which an external force is exercised (companion, physiotherapy,…) on the limb being stretched.
Ballistic: It is like dynamic stretching but forcing the limits of the muscles. It is done quickly and by bouncing.
Isometric: It is a kind of static stretching in which the muscles involved apply force against the stretch, the muscles involved become tense to reduce tension.
PNF (Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation): It is a technique which combines static and isometric stretching, consisting of a) a static stretch followed by b) an isometric contraction against resistance from the stretching position, then c) relaxation takes place followed by d) a new static stretch which increases the range of movement.
Always warm up before stretching Warming up is essential, you must never stretch without warming up.
Warming up reduces the risk of injuries and increases flexibility.
The aim is to raise body temperature to the point of starting to perspire.
It must last at least 10 minutes and may reach 30 minutes, therefore 15 or 20 minutes is perfect.
You must do a warm-up with repetitive and gentle movements.
Examples: Walking quickly, running slowly (or statically), skipping, cycling, swimming or jumping.
This website is for information purposes and must not be used as a substitute for advice from a doctor or a health professional or as a recommendation for any particular treatment plan.
It is important that you rely on the advice of a doctor or a health professional for treatment of your particular case.
As with any source of information, it may become inaccurate over time. Any application of the techniques, ideas, and suggestions in this website is at the reader's sole discretion and risk.