What is Static Stretching?
Static stretching is an exercise that involves extending muscles to its limit and then holding it at that position for some time. This exercise is done while the rest of the body is at rest. The duration of holding a given stretch depends on the age of the participant, preexisting conditions, the level of activeness, and pre-existing injuries. During the holding duration or immediately afterward, one experiences a mild discomfort in the muscles involved. When done after a workout, it cools the body and improves the flexibility of the muscles.
Examples of Static Stretching
- Head bend
- Shoulder and triceps stretch
- Chest stretch
- Biceps stretch
- Trunk rotation
- Hamstring stretch
- Upper back stretch
- Quadriceps stretch
- Side bends
- Calf stretch
- Groin stretch
Benefits of Static Stretching:
- Static stretching improves your flexibility and this basically means that your range of motions around a given joint is improved. It enhances free and efficient movement.
- Additionally, static stretching relaxes the body and mind of the participant. Taking deep and slow breaths while stretching reduces stress in some people. For many others, the release of muscle tension relaxes them.
- Static stretching helps improves the balancing of the body. When some muscles have reduced flexibility, this causes muscular imbalances. Muscle pulls can also cause a change in the alignment of your body, and this can be prevented by simple stretching exercises.
When to Stretch
Before static stretching, it is good to start with an aerobic activity like swimming or cycling for several minutes to warm the muscles. Afterward, a static stretch is encouraged for 15 to 45 seconds for two or three times. If you want to swim, be sure to static stretch your lats. Alternatively, if you want to do full-range squats, static stretch your calves. After finishing your training session, static stretch the muscles that you want to increase the range of motion.
Stretching workout is recommended for participants in any sport or exercise with tight hamstrings because they are more exposed to hamstring strains.
The static stretch should be done thrice on daily basis. For young people, 15 seconds hold is enough. For people under the age of forty, 30 seconds stretches are sufficient. For those over seventy years old, 60 seconds stretches are more beneficial than the 30 seconds one.
Static stretches should be relaxing and not cause undue discomfort. A physical therapist should be consulted before starting the program in case of any pre-existing injuries.