Beside for improving posture, circulation and range of motion, can also help lower the risk of muscle injury and reduce muscle pain after exercise. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, adults should do stretching exercises at least two to three days a week after the muscles have been warmed.
There are seven stretch types that we can do to maximize the benefits of fitness.
Static stretching is kind of training of stretch that is done by stretching the muscle to the point of maximum tension and holding it for 30 seconds. With active static stretching, we apply pressure during doing so. Example of active static stretching is to sit on the floor with our feet position are in front of us. In addition, pull our toes back to stretch our calf and hamstrings.
While passive stretching is done by holding the stretch for 30 seconds. This type of static stretching can be performed with couples that use force to increase the intensity of each stretch or with bands and resistant machines.
Dynamic stretching includes sport-specific flexibility exercises designed to mimic the movement patterns of different activities. An example of a dynamic stretch would be a runner who took long, slow strides similar to a running motion, exaggerating each movement to maximize the stretch.
Active isolated stretching is performed in sets of reps, much like weight training. Each stretch is only held for two seconds before it is released and then held again. Each subsequent stretch should increase in intensity over the course of the set.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Fascilitation
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) is the most effective form of flexibility stretch to increase range of motion. PNF involves a series of stretching and contracting opposing muscle groups. These stretches are often performed on individuals by physical therapists and by sports doctors seeking to repair muscle injuries and increase athletic performance.
PNF can also be used for treatments other than stretching, for example muscle strengthening in a rehabilitation setting. PNF in this sense involves spiral-diagonal movements, as are used in most daily and sporting activities. Very few activities use only one plane of movement, there is usually an combination of two or all three planes (flexion/extension; adduction/abduction; and rotation). For this reason, PNF incorporates these spiral-diagonal movements to help train the body in the way in which it is most often used.
Myofascial release utilizes a foam roller to stretch muscles and fascia, the body's complex system of connective tissues. Pressure is applied by moving a foam roller over the target area in short, controlled movements. Myofascial release is similar to deep tissue massage, but it can be self-administered.
Ballistic stretching is the bouncing type of stretching, where we take the muscle to near its limit and then bounce to stretch it further. For example reaching over to touch your toes and bouncing to increase the range. This type of stretching exercise is rarely recommended due to the injury possibilities and no beneficial effect over other, safer, forms of stretching such as PNF and dynamic stretches.