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Flexibility and Static Stretching

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Static and dynamic stretching are the two different types of flexibility. Dynamic flexibility is the amount of movement available at a joint as a result of muscle contraction. Static flexibility is the amount of movement a joint can be taken through passively. A decrease in your static or dynamic flexibility may put you at risk of certain injuries or limit your ability to perform certain movements.

Stretching 101

There are three different types of stretching commonly performed
1. Ballistic / Dynamic
2. Static
3. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation

Static Stretching
This would be the most common and well know type of stretching. This is where a stretch position is taken and held for a certain amount of time. Research has shown that to have an actual effect that stretch needs to be maintained for 90 seconds. Where as most people only hold for 30 – 60 seconds. The position neeed to be held long enough so that tension placed on the muscle from the stretch initiates what is known as the inverse myostatic stretch that reflex with consequent relaxation of the muscle. Once this has been achieved the muscle can then be taken a new point of stretch durning the static stretch there should be no severe discomfort you need to feel that you can relax otherwise it defeats the purpose. Pain during the stretch indicates that you are over stretching and may cause actual muscle damage. It is though that static stretching is the safest form of stretches. If attempting to stretch a muscle but unsure how think about what occurs to the closet joiunt when that muscle contracts and stretch in the opposite direction.

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