Stretching 101: Types of Stretches for Beginners

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Stretching 101: Types of Stretches for Beginners

Stretching is an important part of anyone’s daily routine. Regular stretching can help improve your posture, flexibility, and range of motion. It can also help reduce muscle tension and soreness.

It’s common to get tired after a long or tough workout. In general, this occurs because your muscles run out of energy. Your central nervous system also loses its ability to keep moving your muscles. 

Post-workout muscle fatigue can also be reduced by using massage guns, foam rollers, or stretching.

The stretching technique can help relax your muscles and make them more flexible, improving your performance in any physical activity.

Knowing where to start when it comes to stretching can be overwhelming for beginners. This blog post will provide an overview of the different types of stretches that are best for beginners. 

4 Types Of Stretching

Since there are so many different stretching methods available, it cannot be easy to distinguish between them and know how to use each one correctly.

Here is a brief explanation of 4 popular flexibility techniques, along with examples, to help clarify some confusion.

1. Static Stretching

The most common type of stretch for beginners is a static stretch. This stretch involves slowly lengthening a muscle group until you feel a gentle pull and then holding the stretch in place for 10-30 seconds.

Static stretches are easy to do and require minimal coordination. They are also great for warming up before working out or cooling down after exercise. Some examples of static stretches include calf stretches, hamstring stretches, quadriceps stretches, chest stretches, shoulder stretches, gluteal stretches, and tricep stretch. 

There are 2 types of static stretches:

  • Active Stretching: This stretch requires you to use your strength and body weight to move slowly into a position.
  • Passive Stretching: This type of stretching is excellent for enhancing your balance and flexibility by holding a position or pose with gravity or by hand. As a specific force reaches the outer limits of your range of motion, the target muscle is lengthened. 

2. Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching should be done as part of your warm-up before engaging in physical activity like running or weightlifting.

Dynamic stretches help warm up the muscles and prepare them for more intense movements by increasing blood flow throughout the body.  

In contrast to static stretching, dynamic stretching calls for ongoing movement patterns that resemble the exercise or sport being played. Dynamic stretching generally aims to increase flexibility for a specific sport or activity.

When To Use Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching can be used before starting any exercise routine. This can help warm up your body or get your muscles moving and ready to work. Here are some examples that can benefit from dynamic stretching:

  • Before playing sports or athletics: Studies show that dynamic stretching can benefit athletes who run or isn’t, including basketball players, soccer players, and sprinters.
  • Before weightlifting: According to research, stretching can help strengthen legs and improve performance, compared to static stretching or no stretching.
  • Before cardiovascular exercise: Whether you’re jogging, training camp, or swimming, dynamic exercises can warm up and prepare your muscles, which can improve performance and reduce your risk of injury.

3. Ballistic Stretching

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Chenie Taton

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