How to stretch:

Posted on 10 August 2010

Improper Stretching

Improper Stretching

By RaceTwitch pro-Team member Kata Gémes.

The most efficient and functional way of stretching is the active way of stretching. It is the best way to simulate the functional stretching which occurs through natural movements like climbing, crawling or jumping.

Stretching is not a passive thing as it thought in old day schools. It is not efficient to keep one position and let the gravitation do the work. Nor it is good if you do huge, uncontrolled movements, like bending forward to touch your toes with relaxed back when you can easily get injured.

The most effective and safest way of stretching is when you keep the movements under control, working with several muscles to hold and stretch in a position.  In every type of stretching you need a stable starting position, keeping the joints under control. Then work in this position with small and controlled movements.

If you are in an advance level you can increase the range of movements during the stretching exercise, but always have to keep the muscle control. If you not used to this type of stretching you can practice it through some simple stretching exercises.

One of the most popular stretching exercises, stretched leg sitting and bending forward or Paschimotthanasana using the sanskrit name of the exercise.

Proper Stretching

Proper Stretching

  1. Sit down, feel as your both isocheim touch the ground. Stretch your leg, and bend your feet.
  2. Elevate both your arm, and try to stretch till the top of your head. If you cannot stretch your whole spine and keep it vertical (cannot stretch the lumbar spine), then put a cushion under your ischiums.
  3. Stretch forward and try to reach your toes. If you can’t use a towel or a bend.
  4. Inhale and try to stretch from your spine, close your shoulders together, and pull your toes with your back muscles while keep the shoulders down. Stretch with your head.
  5. Exhale and try to get closer to your legs, keeping the knees full stretched, pulling the patella up and working hard from the leg extensors. Push your heels forward.
  6. Continue for 10-15 breath cycle, working in the position with your back, abdominal and leg muscles.  Stretch from the head when you inhale and pull yourself closer when you exhale (these are small, almost invisible movements but means different muscle works and mind focus). Be careful keeping your spine straight, pulling the shoulder-blades together.

If you do this exercise in this way it can be quite frustrating that you cannot go as deep as you do when you relax on your leg, bending your back and neck. However, this technique will be much safer and more effective as you use your large muscle group to perform and control the stretching of the hamstrings and lower back.

One Response to “How to stretch:”

  1. Laurademeo says:

    Thanks for sharing this post. As a former gymnast, I understand the importance of stretching. Great tips, Kata! Thank you! Laura

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