Is stretching always necessary?
For most of the population, stretching is helpful. Our lifestyles are often quite sedentary with office work. For other people who are naturally flexible, they may need to focus more on strengthening instead of stretching.
How long should I hold a stretch?
In general it takes around 20-30 seconds for the muscle to relax and lengthen.
When & how often should I stretch?
Stretching is a good way to break up the day and relieve tightness. Some people like to stretch a few times per day, and others can get away with a few times/week to maintain their flexibility.
A situation where time of day matters is for power sports (sprinting, weight lifting etc). There is evidence that stretching immediately before sport actually reduces the maximum power that the muscle can produce in that game.
Will I damage something by stretching?
Usually not if the stretch is controlled and not painful. Muscle sprains are more likely to happen with unexpected forces or incidents than with slow stretches. Chat to your physio about any concerns.
If you need a physio Adelaide based please feel free to call us 7122 5250 for a chat or to book an appointment.