People are the creatures of habit and we often stick to things that we know. There are many positive habits that we could and one of them is stretching. Here are some of the stretching methods that you should know:
- Passive stretching: With passive stretching, you need the help of external forces, such as exercise band, devices or the help of an exercise partner. Passive stretching is slow and sustained, which is quite similar to static stretching.
- Dynamic stretching: It’s an active method of stretching, which is useful for people who use functional movements for stretching joints and muscles actively. Dynamic stretching should help your joint and muscles to have full range of motions comfortable, such as jumping jacks, backslaps, heel kicks, side shuffle and high knees.
- Ballistic stretching: When performing ballistic stretching, you perform sudden and quick jerks of the muscle. The intention is to loosen your joints and muscles quickly, so you can have improved flexibility. You will be able to do specific movements, such as kick jabs and bouncing toes reach better.
Static stretching: It is a very common way of doing stretching. You need to hold a muscle in specific position for a period of time, such as 20 seconds. It means that you need to grab your feet and hold them up while doing quadriceps stretching.
- Contract-relax stretching: When performing contract-relax stretching, you need to be assisted by a partner and the opposing muscle must be contracted with isometric hold. After a period of time, you should relax your muscles and perform the stretching again. The partner needs to apply force to stretch the hamstring, while the person contracts the quadriceps.
- Resistance stretching: It is a form of stretching that requires external stimulus like exercise cable or band. In this case, you need to contract your muscle and then lengthen it slowly, as some force is applied, thus making your muscle fibers stretched. You can perform bicep curls using the exercise band then lengthen your muscles slowly as they stretch.
Now that you know stretching methods that are available for you, the next question is whether you should stretch before a game. Based on studies, an ideal time to do static stretching is after the workout, practice or game, instead of just warm-ups before the game. Researchers have also confirmed that static stretching reduce levels of stretching and reduce performance. Stretching will help to improve your range of motion and flexibility, which are essential during a game. However, you should be careful when choosing the right type of stretching. As an example, you may weaken joint capsules and tendons, by performing static stretching.
Also, static stretching doesn’t fully active full ranges of motion, as effectively as other stretching methods. It would make a better sense, if you stretch important muscles after doing significant physical exercise. So you can always improve range of motion and flexibility. It’s a simple concept that you need to implement properly.