Stretching is an extremely important part of recovery and even warming up for your workouts.. but not all stretching is the same! Let’s dive in to the three most common categories of stretching and when they should be used.
Corrective Flexibility: Includes Static stretching and self-myofascial release (foam rolling). Designed to increase range or motion, help with imbalances in the muscles and fix imbalanced joint motion.
Static stretching: Used to correct muscle imbalances and lengthen tight muscles. Should be used after a workout or warm up, when the muscles are warmed up in order to prevent injury. Static stretching includes taking the muscle into a stretch (or point of tension) and holding that position for around 30 seconds.
Active Flexibility: Includes active- isolated stretching and self-myofascial release (foam rolling). Helps to improve extensibility of soft tissues.
Active-isolated stretching: Can help to increase joint range of motion and flexibility. Performed typically before a workout as part of a warm up. This includes moving the muscle to a point of tension, holding for 1-2 seconds, and repeating 5-10 times.
Functional Flexibility: Includes dynamic stretching and self-myofascial release (foam rolling). Helps bring the muscles through the full range of motion while improving extensibility and without compensating through other muscles.
Dynamic stretching: Is used to help improve flexibility while also using control. Can be used before a workout as part of a warm up. Using the bodies momentum to stretch through the full range of motion. Can perform anywhere from 3-10 exercises for around 10 repetitions. There is no hold in dynamic stretching.
It’s important to incorporate all three kinds of stretching!