New Ideas on Proper Stretching Techniques
Some stretching routines may hinder, not help, your athletic performance.
7 Things You Need to Know about Proper Stretching Techniques continued...
Never stretch to the point of pain. Forget the phrase "no pain, no
gain. "You do not want pain when you're doing dynamic stretching," says
Holcomb. "It should be gentle to start and then progress." When you're doing
your static stretching afterward, you should go to the point of slight
discomfort and intensity, he says, to improve your flexibility. But if you're
making a face, your muscle is contracting to protect itself, which is
Stretch to de-stress. These are stressed-out times, and stretching
can help. "As you know, your mind affects your body, and your body affects your
mind," says Dean Ornish, MD, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research
Institute in Sausalito, Calif., and author of The Spectrum. "During
times of emotional stress, the muscles in your body contract. This is an
adaptive response to acute stress, as it fortifies your 'body armor' so that in
times of danger, if you get hit, for example, your muscles help to protect
"However, in times of chronic stress, these same mechanisms that have
evolved to protect us can create problems -- chronically tensed muscles,
especially those in the back and neck, predispose to chronic pain or injury.
stress management techniques can help prevent this. Also, gentle stretching
of chronically tensed muscles provide relaxation to the mind as well as the