Have you recently been given a stretching routine and do not know how to get started? Perhaps you are feeling “tight” and want to start doing some stretches at home. We all know that stretching is good for our overall health and to relieve tension throughout our muscles, however how do we find time throughout the day to perform our stretching routine? What is the best time of day? Morning or afternoon? Before or after activity?
The answer is: it depends. First question is what is your goal? If you are an athlete, post practice stretching facilitates ROM improvements because of increased muscle temperature. Stretching should be performed within 5-10 minutes after practice. Increased body temperature increases the elastic properties of collagen within muscles and tendons, which allows for greater stretch magnitude.
If the goal is to improve overall flexibility, additional stretching throughout the day will be required. Finding 10-15 minutes throughout different times of the day to perform a proper, stretching routine is necessary for tissue adaptation and elongation. A very important aspect of stretching is to have a light, general warm up to allow for the increase in muscle temperature necessary for effective stretching.
With every program, it will need to be specific to the individual’s needs. If you are in search of a good stretching regimen and you have questions, feel free to contact any one of our three locations to set up an examination by one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy and we will perform a thorough evaluation and give you the best program to fit your individual needs and deficits. Do not delay and call for an appointment today!
To Your Continued Health,
Brannon Chester, DPT Doctor of Physical Therapy