The Importance of Stretching

For specific stretches please give us a call to make an appointment with one of our chartered physiotherapists – Fleet Street 020 7404 0023 or Baldock 01462 893586.

General Stretches:

  • The benefits of stretching include reduced muscle soreness after exercising and even better performance.
  • Do not bounce – it risks pulling or tearing the muscle you’re trying to stretch and relax.
  • Stretch gradually. If a stretch is applied too quickly, the muscle responds with a quick contraction, increasing the tension. Gradual stretching decreases the muscle tension, promoting a further stretch.
  • Do not overextend. This feeling is like minimal tightness / discomfort, but no pain!
  • Hold and control the stretch for at least 30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times.
  • Always stretch all the major muscle groups (ie calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, groin and hip flexors)
  • Stretch uniformly – After stretching one leg, stretch the other, and do the same with upper body.
  • Don’t overstretch an injured area – this may cause additional damage.
  • Stretching is part of your cool down period, immediately following exercising (not 30-40minutes later!), and can be used after your warm-up session.

Calf Stretch:

Stand with one leg in front of the other, turning the toes of
back foot inwards slightly, keeping your back straight. Lean
forwards, keeping your heel on the floor (you can lean with
your hands against a wall). You should feel a stretch in the
top of your calf muscles and behind the knee.

Calf Stretch 2:

Stand with one leg slightly forward and bend the knee. Keep
your heel on the floor. You should feel a stretch lower down
your calf. Repeat with the other leg.

Shoulder Stretch:

Reach over your shoulder with one arm, grabbing the elbow
and gently pushing it across your body, as if you’re scratching
your back. Gently push on your elbow to guide your hand as far
down your back as it will comfortably go. Feel the stretch in
your triceps and shoulder.

Hamstring Stretch:

Stand with the ball of your foot on a step, starting off with
your knee bent. Tilt your hips forward (sticking your tailbone
out), and bend forward slightly. Gently straighten your knee
while maintaining the hip position. You will feel the stretch
behind your knee and into your buttock.

Quadriceps Stretch:

Stand holding on to a support, bend one knee and take hold of
the ankle. Draw your heel towards your buttock, tilting the
hips forward so that your knee points to the floor. Feel the
stretch in front of your thigh.

Hip & Lower Back Stretch:

Sit on the floor with legs crossed. Lift and cross your right leg
over the left, keeping the left bent. Hug the right leg close to
your chest, while twisting your upper body to look over the
right shoulder. Change legs and repeat.

Bridging:

Lying on your back, knees bent and feet on floor. Lift your
hips gradually off the floor, until your body forms a flat plane.
Repeating about 10 times for 30 seconds, to stretch your
quads and lower back.

Groin Stretch:

Sit on the floor with soles of your feet together as close to
your groin as you can. Push your knees down towards the floor
using your elbows, leaning forward gently.

For specific stretches please give us a call to make an appointment with one of our chartered physiotherapists – Fleet Street 020 7404 0023 or Baldock 01462 893586.

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