Contrary to the idea of bombarding the reader with a workout regime, here shall be delivered the overall idea of stretching for attaining state-of-the-art flexibility. Stretching exercises also follow a certain discipline and certain guidelines are to be followed to keep resultant injuries at bay, especially the warm-up and the cool-down sessions. A few quick facts follow:
i. Stretching helps remove lactic acid from the muscle and reduce muscle soreness.
ii. Overstretching damages the muscles because of a myotatic reflex, thus it shouldn’t be stretched beyond a certain point i.e. 1.6 times its length. Bouncing while stretching is not recommended as well. A static position works best.
iii. Stretching and Strengthening: These two should be combined; a set of strengthening should be followed by a stretching session.
iv. MICE vs. RICE: Till now Rest/Ice/Compression/Elevation was thought the best treatment for an injury; however, Move-It/Compression/Elevation is the in-thing, since it’s been proved that immobilizing a muscle can lead to decreased blood flow and muscle atrophy. A proper stretch at the time of recovery can in fact speed it up.
v. Stretching vs. Aging: Aerobics and stretching maintains flexibility, imparting a younger look and feel besides helping maintain a good form.
Stretching Exercises for back pain
It is vital to have an idea about the core muscle group comprising the Spinal erectors, Gluteus (Maximus, Medius and Minimus) and the Abductors besides the Piriformis and Psoas Major, which, when subjected to some stretches, help take stress off the low back and hips, reducing the advancement of arthritis in the spine. But in case pain is experienced, these stretches are a strict no-no.
Though the numbers can outrun ones counting capabilities, still, to benefit our readers, we came up with the most versatile stretching exercises, illustrated and explained in an easy manner. If keeping the muscles supple or increasing the range of motion of joints, an enhanced flexibility and improved coordination or an increased circulation is your goal, stretching exercises can take you to the wonderland you were looking forward to.