What Type Of Stretching Should I Do?

There are many different types of stretching. Stretching is commonly used as an injury prevention technique for muscles, tendons and ligaments. Short-term benefits to stretching include: 

  • Improving running times
  • Rehabilitating injuries
  • Increasing joint range of movement 
  • Decreasing the risk of soft tissue injuries.

Here is a quick breakdown of the different types of stretching so you can decide which one would benefit you.

Types of Stretching and When To Use Them:

 

stretching types

Static:

Statistic stretching requires holding limbs or joints just past the point of comfort for a prolonged duration. Static stretching is most beneficial post-exercise. After exercising, muscles and other soft tissue structures are more compliant due to the increased blood flow to that area. Static stretching doesn’t always increase range of movement, but can provide immediate relief from muscular discomfort.

 

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF):

Contracting the muscles against a force, where no movement occurs, is known as an isometric contraction. PNF or “contract-relax” stretching involves tapping into the muscles “sensory organs” which are part of the nervous system. Hold the joint just before the point of resistance and press in the opposite direction. For example: a PNF stretch for the pecs, would involve isometrically contracting your shoulder/arm forward. Hold this contraction, relax completely and allow the joint to move a little further. Hold this position and then begin contractions again. This type of stretching has shown the most benefit for improving a joints range of movement after exercise.

 

stretching typesstretching types

Dynamic:

Dynamic stretching involves moving a limb continuously through a range of movement at a controlled pace. This type of stretching is most beneficial prior to commencing exercise as it increases blood flow to the muscles and surrounding tissue. Dynamic stretching has been shown to improve performance in running, jumping and muscle endurance. 

 

Ballistic:

Ballistic stretching  is similar to dynamic stretching, but instead of moving continuously through range of movement, the joint is held in place at the end range and “bounced” by the contracting and relaxing of surrounding muscles. This type of stretching has the most potential for injury if not performed properly. Ballistic stretching, before exercising, can reduce tendon stiffness which can be beneficial for people performing “explosive” exercises, such as sprinting or throwing.

How Long Should I Hold A Stretch?

To gain the most from stretching, the general rule is four times/sets for the recommended amount of time. It is best to avoid alternating different types of stretching and finish one type before moving on to the next. 

  • Static: 10-30sec hold
  • PNF:  6-8 seconds for contractions, with a 30 second static stretch
  • Dynamic: 30sec – 60 sec continuous
  • Ballistic:  is traditionally performed over “blocks” of 60 seconds
Remember:

Avoid bringing a joint past the point of comfort. This is known as a pathological barrier, or place where your limbs will naturally stop. Sometimes you can push them a little further but stretching should feel nice! Any increased pain felt during a stretch should be ceased immediately.

At Boost Health Collective, our Myotherapists, Physios and Podiatrists all incorporate a range of stretching techniques into treatments and as part of home care plans to empower you to help yourselves so you can get back to doing what you love. 

 

What our clients are saying about us

Bree BrittBree Britt
05:41 22 May 24
Mehar was fabulous! Not only was she warm, welcoming and funny, but professional and thorough.From the moment I walked in I felt well supported. She was able to identify what was going on, factoring in older ailments, and provide me with a treatment plan and options.Her focus was on sustainable changes and support moving forward, and I had a written plan and clear explanations and clarifications on everything. I never felt like she was encouraging me to need to come back unnecessarily.It took a few visits, and each time was met with the same warmth and professionalism. I got consistent progress and feel so much better now, even though it's a few months on from when I last saw her.It's very clear she is wonderful at what she does, thinks about the whole person and I would definitely recommend her to others considering needing podiatry support.
Rose StewartRose Stewart
02:32 14 May 24
The whole client therapist experience has been amazing. My Myotherapist provided me with a detailed plan to ensure my progress to meet my goals as well as addressing my issues of pain.Each follow up session is reviewed, discussed and any changes added/deleted or modified.The timely reminders and follow up from the clinic and experience with the Client Experience Officers have been always polite and friendly.
Patrick MonahanPatrick Monahan
00:37 13 May 24
Mehar Sandhu has been an absolute delight. She is very professional in her treatment and most personable and friendly to deal with.
Yolanda OppyYolanda Oppy
03:13 10 May 24
Ezyk ArtistEzyk Artist
00:07 19 Apr 24
I've been coming here exclusively since my first consultation. I've had constant shoulder and arm pain from my line of work; the exercises my physio, Carina provided are easy to remember, not time consuming and super effective!Bonus: the space feels super clean and calming - highly recommend coming here
Natasha KhongNatasha Khong
23:58 22 Mar 24
I had a great experience here. The gym was well equipped and the atmosphere of the clinic was amazing. I had Carina, who was very knowledgeable about my injury and helped construct a great solution plan! Her manner was beautiful and she had great energy. Definitely recommend!
Annabel ChandlerAnnabel Chandler
20:28 14 Mar 24
I’ve been seeing Talia for a few weeks now for treatment on my shoulder bursitis. From day 1 she was great! She explained everything about my condition to me and what she wanted to do which helped me visualise my own recovery. Could not recommend her enough.
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