Four Harmful Stretching Techniques to Avoid in Brookfield WI


Four Harmful Stretching Techniques to Avoid in Brookfield WI

There is a large and varied amount of conflicting opinions on proper stretching techniques. Some are founded in sound scientific research, whereas others are mostly based on antiquated and uneducated conjecture. However, as study techniques have improved, so has the understanding of the most harmful stretching methods. Because doing it wrong can cause both minor and major injuries, here are four harmful stretching techniques to avoid in Brookfield WI:

Inverse Stretching in Brookfield WI

The old hurdles stretch, where one leg is paced straight out in front of the body and the other leg is bent underneath the body, typically results in knee pain. This is because the leg behind the body places a dangerous amount of stress on the stabilizing structures of the knee and may lead to ACL or MCL injury.

Holding the Stretch (Too Long)

You will often see people holding a stretch for 30 seconds or longer. However, maintaining a stretch for more than 15 seconds in counterproductive, actually decreasing the strength and range of motion associated with the stretched muscle group. The most effective way to stretch any muscle group is with proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching, or PNF. PNF is designed to work with the body's reflexes to increase flexibility. Proper PNF stretching involves holding a stretch for 10 seconds, releasing it for 10 seconds, and repeating the same stretch for another 10 seconds. You will notice an immediate increase in range of motion of at least 20 percent on the second stretch. You can repeat PNF stretching a third time, but diminishing returns start to take effect after the second stretch.

Bouncing While Stretching

Referred to as ballistic stretching, bouncing up and down or back and forth during a stretch is a recipe for a pulled or torn muscle. Remember, the purpose of stretching is to gently loosen the muscle fibers and bouncing places constant and inconsistent pressure on tight muscles.

Stretch Before Warm-Up

While many people like to think of stretching as warming up, remember that cold muscle fibers are stiff and very susceptible to injuries, such as sprains, strains, and tears. Bear in mind that a torn muscle takes as long to heal completely as does a broken bone. Also remember that because ligaments are avascularized tissue, meaning they do not contain blood vessels, it takes much longer for a sprain to heal than a strained muscle. A light warm-up before you stretch, just enough to get your blood pumping and your muscles warmed up, is sufficient.

If you are experiencing pain during your stretching routine, during your workout and are looking for a chiropractor, give our office a call today. While we don't like to blow our own horn, many of our patients have called us the best chiropractor in Brookfield WI, New Berlin WI, and Williams Bay WI. Come in and see for yourself as we promise always to make your health our top priority.