To Static Stretch or Not to Static Stretch: That Is the Question

Static Stretching Examples

The following pictures show some of the most common static stretching exercises. You will see that there are many variations, but all of them involve the same basic principle: holding a stretched position for a period of time.

In addition to these static stretching exercises, you may have noticed that I mentioned in my previous post that static stretching is not only good for improving flexibility, but it’s also beneficial for reducing muscle soreness after exercise.

I think that it is very important to mention that static stretching does not necessarily mean holding a stretch for long periods of time. Some people like to do short static stretches such as one second or two seconds, while others prefer longer ones such as five minutes or even fifteen minutes.

It seems like the length of time you hold your stretched position depends on how much effort you want to put into it. If you just want to get rid of any pain, then ten minutes might suffice. However, if you want to improve your flexibility, then you need to spend at least a few hours doing static stretching.

Here are some other reasons why static stretching is so beneficial:

Strengthens muscles and ligaments. Strengthening the body helps prevent injuries. It reduces the risk of injury during sports activities.

Strengthening the body also improves cardiovascular health and increases strength in the legs, arms and back muscles.

Relaxation of muscles. The flexibility of the muscles and tendons decreases stress and fatigue while increasing energy levels.

Better posture. Good posture is essential to good physical condition and allows for better functioning of internal organs. It helps the body move more freely.

To Static Stretch or Not to Static Stretch: That Is the Question - Image

Along with the many advantages that static stretching has to offer, it’s also important to note that you should not over do it. It’s also good to keep in mind that static stretching is not without its limitations. It will not help if you have a serious injury or if you are in the middle of an activity that requires quick reflexes.

Static stretching is most effective when done after a workout or a long day of activity; you will probably not notice much difference if you do it before activities such as sports.

Furthermore, static stretching does not improve performance in sports or activities that require a lot of quick movement. It is also not very effective for emergency situations.

In short, static stretching exercises are very important and beneficial when it comes to improving flexibility and range of motion. It is a great way to improve the efficiency of the body and make daily tasks much easier.

Static stretching also reduces the risk of many injuries and medical conditions, it can also relieve pain in many joints and muscles. Done correctly, static stretching is surely going to make a world of difference in your life.

This is all for now, please stay tune for the next article coming soon.

Sources & references used in this article:

The effect of time on static stretch on the flexibility of the hamstring muscles by WD Bandy, JM Irion – Physical therapy, 1994 – academic.oup.com

Acute changes in hamstring flexibility: PNF versus static stretch in senior athletes by JB Feland, JW Myrer, RM Merrill – Physical Therapy in sport, 2001 – Elsevier

Effect of static stretch training on neural and mechanical properties of the human plantar‐flexor muscles by N Guissard, J Duchateau – Muscle & Nerve: Official Journal of …, 2004 – Wiley Online Library

The effect of static stretch and dynamic range of motion training on the flexibility of the hamstring muscles by WD Bandy, JM Irion, M Briggler – Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical …, 1998 – jospt.org

Passive properties of human skeletal muscle during stretch maneuvers by SP Magnusson – Scandinavian journal of medicine & science …, 1998 – Wiley Online Library