Pro’s and Con’s of Stretching Perth

Should I stretch my tight muscle’s?

The feeling of muscle tightness doesn’t mean the muscle is necessarily short or in need of lengthening/stretching.  It’s more likely due to low-grade nociceptive drive, muscle ‘overactivity’ and lack of strength which can lead to the feeling of “tightness”.

Static Stretching:

Static stretching involves holding a stretch for a period of time.  There’s very limited research regarding static stretches causing physiological changes to muscles.  Muscles are very robust and require to be placed under extreme stretch to see drastic changes in muscle length.  Instead, stretching muscles is providing low grade afferent input to the Central Nervous System (CNS) which can give you that stretch/relaxation feeling.

Pro’s of Static Stretching

  • Provides low grade afferent input to the CNS
  • Promotes body relaxation and short-term pain relief
  • Promotes blood circulation and awareness to the area
  • Improves general flexibility
  • Improves body posture and postural awareness
  • Improves range of motion in the joint
  • Can be used to target specific areas of the body
  • Can be used as a part of your cool-down to promote muscle relaxation
  • Can improve overall wellbeing, focus and concentration

Con’s of Static Stretching

  • Does not target muscle activation as well as dynamic stretching
  • It’s not as task specific compared to dynamic stretching
  • It is not as effective with warming up the muscles before commencing physical activity compared to dynamic stretching

Dynamic Stretching:

Dynamic stretching involves moving through a range of motion that replicates the physical activity.  For example, if preparing for a soccer game, dynamic stretches that you may do are side stepping, high knees, and leg swings.  Dynamic stretching promotes blood flow and prepares the joint through full range of motion. By warming up the muscles before physical activity, you can make them more pliable and resistant to fatigue. This can help to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Pro’s of Dynamic Stretching:

  • Great technique to warm-up muscles prior to commencing physical activity
  • Targets muscle activation which can enhance your performance and readiness for the activity
  • Promotes blood circulation and awareness to the area
  • Dynamic stretching is more task specific which prepares the body for the movements required
  • Improves body posture and postural awareness
  • Improves general flexibility
  • Improves range of motion in joints
  • Targets a wide range of muscle groups
  • Can reduce feelings of stress and tension, therefore assisting with overall wellbeing

Con’s of Dynamic Stretching:

  • Can be challenging to target one specific muscle group compared to static stretching
  • Can be challenging if balance or strength is significantly reduced
  • May not be appropriate for all individuals depending on their injuries or medical conditions

In conclusion, stretching can provide numerous benefits for overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  Incorporating stretching into your daily routine can improve flexibility, range of motion, blood flow, promote muscle activation and can help to reduce stress and tension.