Simple Stretching

Simple Stretching

Simple Stretching

 

Michael Tamaddoni – Senior Physiotherapist – BS Health Ex Sci, DPT

 

Why Stretch?

Clients are often taught stretching exercises as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to lengthen tight and shortened muscles. This is an integral part of the acute phase of dealing with their injury as stretching aims to reduce strain on overworked muscles and allows surrounding postural muscles to function properly. Stretching not only relieves muscle tension, but increases range of movement at the joints that the muscles cross, and improves biomechanical function of the muscles and joints around the affected areas.

 

Stretching is not only beneficial to those who are in pain but can be very effective in preventing injuries from occurring in the first place. A regular general stretching program is advised for anyone looking to maintain their normal movement.

 

How to Stretch?

Stretching with the following guidelines will help you maintain and progress your muscle length.

 

  • Aim to stretch a minimum of 2-3x/week or more to increase muscle length
  • If you have normal muscle length simply employ a maintenance program at least 1-2x/week
  • DO NOT stretch into pain. All stretches should feel like a comfortable pulling sensation
  • Ensure you feel it in the right area, if not, reset yourself up and check you are aligned properly
  • Aim for both sides to be equal in terms of intensity and range of movement. If uneven, stretch the tight side more to reduce imbalances
  • Perform the stretches with static holds for at least 30 seconds
  • AVOID ballistic (bouncing) movements (ballistic stretching can be useful in other applications like warm-ups prior to sport/activity but need to be done with proper guidance to avoid injury)

 

Common Stretches

Below are some of the common muscles stretching exercises that can be beneficial in maintaining normal muscle length and therefore proper body mechanics and function to keep your body happy and healthy.   Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

 

Neck Stretches – these stretches aim to maintain length of the muscles that attach from the head to the shoulder blade crossing the multiple joints of the neck. These muscles are commonly over used and tight especially in people who sit at a desk and even more so in those who have poor posture when at their desk.

 

                                Stretch for Upper Traps        Stretch for Levator Scapulae

                                     Upper Traps Stretch                 Levator scap stretch

                                      

Knee – these stretches aim to keep the length of muscles around the knee or affecting the knee joint normal length and preventing the shortening of muscle to inhibit abnormal biomechanics at the joint.

 

                          Hamstring stretchQuad stretch

              

Foot and Ankle – these stretches aim to maintain your ability to allow the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) to come forward over the foot during walking. These muscles tend to be tight and prevent this from occurring in runners, and those who wear high heels.

 

                

                    Soleus stretchGastroc stretch

 


If you have any questions or concerns about your muscle length, which areas to target, or the optimal stretches for you our physios will be happy to help. Please call us at 9251 5111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book an appointment.

Visit www.yourhealthdomain.com.au for more information

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