Spring means spring training and a heightened interest in getting back into shape or stepping up your exercise routine after winter doldrums. It’s also a time for increased risk of sports injuries, especially if you don’t warm up properly and stretch. Fortunately, a little information and good practice can set you up for success.
Should I Stretch Before a Workout?
Stretching at the start of a workout is absolutely essential for the best results and to minimize injuries. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends stretching prior to sports activity or a workout, citing a stretch of each major muscle group at least twice a week for 60 seconds. It also suggests stretching in general for good health.
What Are the 3 Types of Warm-up?
Warm-up exercises fall into one of three categories – static, dynamic, and ballistic. Possibly the most common is static. That involves slow, gradual moves that lengthen a muscle or muscle group and then hold the position for a period of time, which allows the muscle to relax and lengthen. The period of time held can be several seconds or longer, depending upon the workout routine and fitness goals.
Dynamic stretching uses movement at a controlled pace while stretching within a certain range of motion. Some fitness experts and sports trainers believe that this form of stretching better mimics actual performance, making it a more effective warm-up.
Ballistic stretching uses movements like dynamic stretching but the movements are fast and bouncy to use force to lengthen muscles. While it can have improved long-term benefits, it also comes with an increased risk of injury if not done precisely and correctly. It’s generally only advised for those working closely with a trainer to monitor them to best avoid injury.
What Are the 7 Different Types of Stretching?
A few experts list only two groups of stretches – static and dynamic – and consider ballistic to be a subdivision of dynamic. The rationale for this split is dividing them by active movement versus slow, subtle movement.
Regardless of whether you group warm-ups into two or three categories, overall there are seven types of stretches. The first three match the warm-up categories – static, ballistic, and dynamic stretches.
Active stretching involves moving into a position and holding it there through only the strength of your agonist muscles. Agonist muscles are the muscles that provide the primary force in a movement. That allows the muscle being stretched to relax into the position. Active stretches are usually hard to hold for more than 10 seconds and usually aren’t held for longer than 15 seconds. Most yoga positions are considered active stretches.
Passive stretches are also sometimes referred to as relaxed stretching and static-passive stretching. In a passive stretch, you move into position and hold it with another part of your body, the help of a partner or an apparatus like a strap or foam block. This type of stretch is also found in some forms of yoga. It can also be useful for relieving some forms of muscle spasms.
Isometric stretches are a form of static stretching. It does not involve active motion like dynamic stretching. Instead, you move into the desired position, and while staying in that position tense the muscle being stretched and then relax it.
Lastly, PNF stretching stands for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. It combines passive stretching and isometric stretching. PNF was designed to help stroke victims with their rehabilitation and usually involves working with a partner.
At Total Chiropractic Care, we can evaluate your condition and recommend movement, including stretching that can be beneficial for attaining and maintaining good health. Chiropractic care can also be a valuable component for maintaining good health.
Talk to Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness
If you want to maintain good health for sports – or need help recovering from a sports injury – chiropractic care can help, contact us at Total Chiropractic Care. You will receive a comprehensive evaluation to determine if it’s the right solution for your needs and when. Dr. Goldman creates treatment plans that incorporate pain management services as well as general lifestyle recommendations to help you live the best life you can. Contact us today.