Stretching seems to be one of the most overlooked activities when it comes to your overall health and wellness. So why is this? Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions when it comes to stretching:
Stretching isn't as important as strength/cardio training
Stretching is bad for you joints
Stretching pre fatigues you prior to your workout
I have never had a problem with flexibility
Stretching will decrease my strength
All of these reasons listed above simply don't hold any truth. In fact, stretching will help improve your strength and cardiovascular fitness by preventing range of motion issues. Furthermore, stretching will increase power, speed, and muscle tension, all while decreasing strains, sprains, and overuse injuries.
There are several different ways to stretch properly. The type of stretch depends on the athlete and when the stretching is being performed. The four most common forms of stretching are:
Static Stretching (in place solo stretching)
Dynamic Stretching (using movement)
Passive Stretching (using a partner)
PNF Stretching (hold, contract, relax cycle)
Another helpful tip is to always remember to stretch larger muscles first. Doing this can potentially help you when you stretch the smaller muscles next.