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Please Note: I am not a doctor.
Please consult a physician
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stretching 101

Before creating your stretching program, it is important to differentiate between the type of stretching. Here are the four basic categories defining the types of stretching to perform:

1.Ballistic Stretching
Ballistic stretching is one of the more 'retro' style of stretching. It is performed by bouncing repeatedly. *Please Note: This is NOT recommended due to the safety concerns with ballistic stretching* It is only mentioned to be thorough in this explanation.

2.Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching is more of an active warm-up involving movements that are similar to that of the activity about to be performed. These stretches may be exaggerated yet controlled when performed.

3.Static Stretching
Static stretching may be most commonly thought of regarding the topic of stretching. This technique involves stretching a muscle to the point of slight discomfort for an extended period of time. The length is usually 10-60 seconds.

4.PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) Stretching
PNF Stretching is usually done for athletic training that involves a partner (usually the trainer/coach) stretching the athlete. The stretch involves a contraction of the muscle being stretched as well as a relaxation of that muscle. The most commonly used PNF technique is the stretch hold, contract, relax. There is usually 10 seconds of pushing, and then 10 seconds of relaxing the muscle. This helps to improve flexibility quicker, though is not as effective when done alone.

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