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01-07-21

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In sports, Fitness or other practices such as meditation, the importance of muscle stretching is well known. However, there has always been an almost existential question and that is: why should you stretch?
Well, the answer is simple, before we can do any physical activity, we must prepare our body for it. How do we prepare it? Well, through the contraction and elongation of the joints, muscles and tendons. This causes the muscles to have less tension and gain the flexibility necessary to avoid injury. Stretching even helps oxygenation of the muscle.
Stretching can have great long-term benefits, and avoiding stretching can have significant consequences. Here we will discuss some important facts about stretching.
Benefits of stretching
There are many benefits to contracting and stretching muscles frequently in the correct way. Namely:
• They help prevent injuries.
• They help prevent problems in the lumbar region.
• They allow and help to warm and cool the body during physical activity sessions.
• They improve the body's performance during physical activity.
• They allow a greater capacity to exert force.
• They improve posture.
• They help improve personal image.
• They increase the mobility of the joints and muscles.
• They help reduce muscle aches and pains.
• They help reduce pain and discomfort in the joints.
• They increase flexibility and muscular endurance.
• They increase muscle strength.
Keep in mind that the degree of benefits described will depend on the intensity of the stretches performed, that is why it is recommended to perform medium or high intensity exercises. Let's see them:
Goals of the Stretch
The different objectives of stretching encompass the benefits of doing it along with the prevention of different problems that can occur in the human body. The objectives to be achieved with stretching are the following:
• Increased coordination.
• Greater ease of movement.
• Reduction of muscle tension.
• Facilitate oxygenation of the muscles.
• Prevent muscle cramps or contractures.
• Dilate blood vessels to improve blood circulation.
• Work on the body's self-perception.
• Avoid chronic deterioration of the body's joints.
• Increase joint range of motion and flexibility.
Depending on the disease you have or the part of the body that you want to exercise, you will have to perform a certain type of stretching to achieve your goal.
Types of Stretching
Part of the basic notions about this fundamental aspect of physical exercise are the types. This will allow us to know why different types of stretching are performed and at the same time it will help us to discern when we should do them and how to do them. The types of stretches that we can perform are the following:
Dynamic:
This type of movement consists of stretching with impulse but without going beyond the comfortable limits.
Ballistic:
It's about stretching with momentum, pushing your muscle limits in one quick, bouncy movement.
Static:
In this case, we must stretch to the limit of comfort and stay in that position at rest for 20 or 30 seconds.
Passive:
It is about stretching the muscles to the limit without forcing, to achieve relaxation. The muscle should be stretched without contracting and is done with external assistance.


Active:
It consists of stretching the muscles to the limit, without contracting. It is done without assistance
Isometric:
For this type of movement, we must stretch without exceeding the comfortable limits of the muscles, these are tightened with the intention of reducing the tension of the muscles that oppose the stretch.
Of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation:
It consists of a static stretch that is followed by muscle contractions typical of the isometric. This would cause the muscle to relax into a static stretch that will provide a greater range of motion.
How to perform the stretch correctly?
It is very important to do a good stretch, and knowing how to do it will prevent any type of injury. To perform a correct stretch we must take into account when we will perform a certain warm-up, in addition to some additional factors, let's see.
Preheating:
This warm-up or stretching of the muscles must be gentle and patient, since the muscle is “Cold” and what we are doing is “Warming up” and preparing it for the stronger activities that follow. We must also avoid straining the joints or trying to stretch more than it should.
Stretching during practice:
These stretches should be done during the pauses scheduled in the exercise schedule; they are done to keep the muscle relaxed so that it does not contract due to the training tension. It is advisable to do dynamic stretches such as lunges, heel skipping among others.
Final stretch:
This final phase is the most important since you must be careful with the muscle, because it can be fatigued with the exercise performed, so gentle and progressive stretching should be performed. This is only if the physical activity was rigorous, if it was not so strenuous, you can stretch a little more aggressive to improve flexibility.
In conclusion, it is important to know that with time and lack of exercise, the ability to move is lost, but stretching frequently helps to reduce deterioration, as well as reducing muscle contractures caused by frequent, bad or uncomfortable positions. that many experiences.
That is why we invite you to learn how to stretch correctly and learn in detail about each exercise you do. If you have difficulties, it is a good idea to have the guidance of a professional to perform the stretches optimally.

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