Muscle health is vital for maintained mobility. Age and injury can derail range of motion leading to pain and loss of flexibility. Stretching can help fend off these results. By keeping muscles long and limber enables the body to enjoy activities later into life. This can be accomplished by stretching.
Static vs. Dynamic Overview
Two techniques of stretching are static and dynamic. Static stretches involve holding a pose for a period of time, while dynamic stretches are centered around body movement.
The Scoop on Static Stretches
Static stretching is what typically comes to mind when one pictures stretching. A body part is stretched as far as it can comfortably go then held. Regular static stretching helps with flexibility and range of motion.
Stand with stomach pulled in and feet shoulder-width apart. Stretch the left arm across the chest. Bend the right arm and use the forearm to clamp the left arm in place. Hold 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Reach to the Sky
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lift arms out in front, palms facing and fingertips lightly touching. Twist and bend down to touch the left hand to the right foot. Reach the right arm up towards the sky. Hold 5-10 seconds. Return to start position and repeat on the opposite side.
Dynamic Stretching Details
Dynamic stretching involves moving the body through a range of motion. Athletes use these to warm-up. This type of stretching helps prepare muscles for strenuous activity.
Lying back side down, stretch arms out to form a ‘T’ with the body. With palms flat against the floor, stretch legs outward with feet together. Pull in the stomach to raise both legs slowly into the air. Slowly lower back down. Repeat.
Side Leg Raises
Lie on the right side of the body. Legs should be stacked left on top of right. Support the head with the right hand and place the left hand on the left hip. Keeping the right leg straight, slowly raise it as high as comfortable then slowly lower back down. Repeat 10 times then roll over and repeat on the opposite side.