My 10 Favorite Lower Body Stretchesby John Meadows on December 19, 2018
Today I will be going over my ten favorite lower body stretches. I think that stretching is great to do and can help a lot with lifting. You will be very supersized how flexible I am and you don’t want to miss my story on why this is. I would love to hear some of your favorite stretches so please leave a comment and or make a Instagram video and tag me in it.
Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone.The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. Stretching is also used therapeutically to alleviate cramps.
In its most basic form, stretching is a natural and instinctive activity; it is performed by humans and many other animals. It can be accompanied by yawning. Stretching often occurs instinctively after waking from sleep, after long periods of inactivity, or after exiting confined spaces and areas.
Increasing flexibility through stretching is one of the basic tenets of physical fitness. It is common for athletes to stretch before (for warming up) and after exercise in an attempt to reduce risk of injury and increase performance.:42
Stretching can be dangerous when performed incorrectly. There are many techniques for stretching in general, but depending on which muscle group is being stretched, some techniques may be ineffective or detrimental, even to the point of causing hypermobility, instability, or permanent damage to the tendons, ligaments, and muscle fiber. The physiological nature of stretching and theories about the effect of various techniques are therefore subject to heavy inquiry.
Although static stretching (see image on the right for an example) is part of some warm-up routines, a study in 2013 indicated that it weakens muscles. For this reason, an active dynamic warm-up (movement of the muscle groups with lights weights for example) is recommended before exercise in place of static stretching
Studies have shed light on the function, in stretching, of a large protein within the myofibrils of skeletal muscles named titin. A study performed by Magid and Law demonstrated that the origin of passive muscle tension (which occurs during stretching) is actually within the myofibrils, not extracellularly as had previously been supposed. Due to neurological safeguards against injury, it is normally impossible for adults to stretch most muscle groups to their fullest length without training due to the activation of muscle antagonists as the muscle reaches the limit of its normal range of motion.
Types of stretches
Football player Luis Suárez stretching prior to a match.
Assisted stretching may be performed when the athlete is unable to stretch optimally unassisted. For example, during cramp of the calf muscles assistance in stretching out the muscles may help.
There are three kinds of stretching: static, dynamic (bouncing), and Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), where the muscle is passively stretched, then the muscle is contracted, then stretched further.:42 However, static and dynamic stretching are the two most common forms seen. Dynamic stretching is a movement based stretch aimed on increasing blood flow throughout the body while also loosing up the muscle fibers. An example of this could be high knees or lunges. Whereas static stretching is a more stationary stretch, where one will hold a stretch for a certain duration of time without moving. This will give the muscles a more intense and deeper stretch when compared to dynamic.
A roller derby athlete stretching
Although many people engage in stretching before or after exercise, the medical evidence has shown this has no meaningful benefit in preventing muscle soreness.
Stretching does not appear to reduce the risk of injury during exercise, except perhaps for runners. There is some evidence that pre-exercise stretching may increase athletes’ range of movement.