Stretching Is Not A Warm-Up

At the beginning of softball season I say to my teammates, "Okay, let's get warmed up," and they immediately start to stretch. No, no, no! A warm up is moving the body through big ranges of motion to increase blood flow to the muscles and lubricate the joints. It could be jogging, skipping, walking lunges etc. Stretching, on the other hand, is intended to lengthen muscles. There are two types of stretching: dynamic and static. Dynamic stretching involves a two-second hold of the stretch and is repeated ten times. Static stretches are held for 30 seconds or more  and repeated at least twice. Current research has discovered that static stretching before a running race actually impairs speed. So the appropriate stretches prior to running sports are "dynamic". Static stretches are best performed after sport or work out as a cool down. Stretching should never be painful, it should be gentle. As we age we lose the elastic quality in our connective tissue, making a routine of stretching even more important. All muscles cross joints, and if a muscle is tight it can increase compressive forces in the joint making an arthritic joint all the more inevitable. To get true increases in the length of muscle one must stretch regularly. If your knee, shoulder or ankle is sore, it may be something as simple as stretching the appropriate muscle. In physical therapy we accomplish this with massage techniques, ultrasound and instructed stretching.

SF Sports Med & Rehab is at the El Gancho Club to get you back to your sport or activity.

We do a free 15 minute consultation regarding your injuries. 992-4995 by appointment.

SF Sports Med & Rehab, Inc.

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