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Types of stretching

Hip stretchHave you ever thought, “how is the best way to stretch?”

Often my patients ask when they should stretch, and how much of a warm up stretch they should perform to prevent getting injuries.

The answer is a lot less than you think!

My rule of thumb is; if it’s tight, stretch it. If not, perform a functional warm up such as a light jog, building the intensity, or some slow swings building up to 100%. If you find you are still tight then it’s time to perform a specific stretch.

If you have a specific injury or condition that you are recovering from, this is a different kettle of fish. These normally need to be tailored to your needs. Such as static hammy stretches which I would suggest need to be held for 20-30 seconds and repeated multiple times to have an effect.

The third type of stretching is recovery/cool down stretching. These should be performed following intense exercise, and help to remove lactic acid to decrease DOMS (soreness post exercise). These should be performed within an hour of exercise and the static stretches should be held for a lot longer – 30-45 seconds and repeated.

Hope this is helpful.

Tom McLeod
Myotherapist

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