how to do stretching properly? Do you want to start stretching to relax and relax? Are you looking for tips to do your stretching? Or specific flexibility exercises? Then read on.
What is stretching?
Coming from the English verb "stretch", translated as stretching in French, stretching is a gentle gymnastics that consists of performing muscle stretching exercises in order to improve flexibility and relax.
Popularized by Bob Anderson, an American physical education teacher who imagined this physical activity thirty years ago (see his book), stretching is halfway between the traditional gym and oriental relaxation techniques, like yoga. The method consists of performing targeted stretching exercises on a specific part of the body in order to gain muscle flexibility and range of motion.
Stretching is the basis of many methods of relaxation such as passive and dynamic stretching, passive active stretching (or PNF), postural stretching (see here), oractive global stretching, particularly suitable for sports performance.
How to properly stretch?
Whatever the type of stretching performed, it is important to follow some essential instructions in order to obtain maximum benefits. Here are our 10 tips:
Stretch warm: whether it is done after a sports activity or simply to relax, muscle stretching should be done in a warm environment. On cold floor, consider using a gym mat, it will serve as insulation.
Stretch quietly: a stretching session must above all remain a moment of relaxation. Stretching calmly promotes the relaxation of tensions.
Warm up a little: if there is no contraindication to stretch cold, it is more pleasant to stretch when the muscles are hot. For this, 5 to 10 minutes of specific warm-up exercises are enough.
Do not force: it is not necessary to feel excessive pain to soften. During a stretching session, the muscles must be stretched gradually, working on a bearable pain threshold, and especially avoiding jerks. Whatever the muscle used, the stretch should not be unpleasant.
Do not contract the muscle when stretching, on the contrary remember to relax as much as possible in order to get maximum benefits from each stretching movement.
Remember to breathe well: breathe gently and exhale when you are stretching, this helps the muscles to relax.
Alternate stretching exercises between agonist and antagonist muscles, biceps / triceps for the arms for example.
Stretch the same muscle repeatedly, so you will be able to soften it more.
No stretching after an intensive sports session, especially if you have just done a traumatic muscular activity (trail, running, indoor team sports, etc ...), this would have the effect of accentuating the muscle micro-lesions caused by the practice of these activities. Also avoid stretching if you suffer from severe aches.
Do not stretch an injured muscle, you may further aggravate the situation.
Now you know how to do your stretching. Discover our stretching exercise sheets, in order to relax all the muscles of your body.
Back stretching: exercises to stretch the lumbar, back and trapezius muscles.
Leg stretching: movements to stretch the quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors and calves.
Gluteal stretching: exercises to stretch the large, small and medium gluteal muscles.
Arm stretching: movements to stretch the triceps and biceps muscles.
Shoulder stretching: exercises to stretch the deltoid muscles, anterior, middle and posterior bundles of the shoulder.
Abs stretching: movements to stretch the rectus, oblique and transverse muscles of the abdomen.