There is much controversy in research and amongst the industry in terms of what are the most effective ways to stretch.
In fact it is quite simple. First, we must differentiate between pre-exercise stretching, stretching for improved range of motion and post-exercise stretching.
There is static stretching where you hold a particular stretch for a period of 30 seconds or more. You can do active stretching where you hold a stretch for 3 seconds, move out of the stretch, then back in for 3 seconds and so on.
There is also contract relax stretching where you take a muscle to it’s end range, then contract the muscle being stretched for 5 seconds, after 5 seconds you then relax and stretch the muscle further. There is also dynamic stretching where you stretch a particular movement, normally to prepare you for a similar movement performed ballistically.
You also have to know which of your muscles are tight and which muscles are long and weak. This can only be known by having a thorough assessment.
In the next post, I will explain which types of stretching are best to do and at what times will bring about the best results. So stay tuned!