How stretching became a new trend

Stretching is a type of fitness that is becoming increasingly popular among those looking for new ways to get the figure of their dreams. The direction’s name comes from the English “stretching,” which means “stretching.” This whole set of exercises is aimed at stretching the muscles, giving the body elasticity, flexibility, and restoring tone.

Benefits of stretching

Stretching helps to avoid injuries and muscle strain during intensive sports and makes the muscles stronger and the body more flexible. Some benefits of stretching include reducing muscle tension, improving circulation, correcting posture, and increasing stamina.

How stretching became a new trend

However, the effect of stretch marks is not limited to physical manifestations. So, regular classes help relieve stress, relax, improve emotional background, and gain self-confidence.

Types of stretching (stretch marks)

There are many stretch marks, but the main ones are static and dynamic.

Static stretch

One of the most popular types of stretch marks. Exercises are performed in motionless poses: having taken the desired position in which the muscles are maximally stretched, you need to freeze motionlessly for a few seconds and focus on the sensations in the body. In this case, you should not feel pain, but during the first exercises, slight discomfort is possible. The exercise time depends on how long you have been practicing stretching: at the very beginning, it is recommended to hold the position for no longer than 15 seconds and then increase the time up to a minute.

How stretching became a new trend

Dynamic Stretch 

Unlike static stretching, where you need to remain still, dynamic stretching involves the exercises performed in motion. For example, tilting the body, head, arms, or legs with soft, springy movements. In this case, you must try to strain the muscle group to which the exercise is directed as much as possible. As with static stretching, you shouldn’t feel pain but be able to feel the muscles.

Passive stretch

Passive stretching is done with the help of a trainer and is similar in principle to static stretching in that you need to freeze in a certain position, but in the case of passive stretching, you do not have to make an effort: a trainer helps you with this.

How stretching became a new trend

Ballistic stretch

Ballistic stretching is one of the subspecies of dynamic stretching. Still, instead of smooth, springy movements, it is necessary, on the contrary, to gradually speed up the pace, sharply “throwing” the arms and legs to the sides and increasing the range of motion. For beginners, such a set of exercises is unsuitable because of the likelihood of muscle strain or tearing tendons.

Active isolated stretch

The second subspecies of dynamic stretching. The main goal is to focus on each muscle to warm up before training. In this case, the movements remain smooth and soft, without jerks. Periodically, you need to freeze in a position where the peak load on the muscles is achieved and then smoothly return to the starting position.

How stretching became a new trend

Isometric stretching

A type of stretching in which tension alternates with relaxation. Once in the right position, you tense your muscles to slight pain, hold the tension for 15 seconds to a minute, and then relax your muscles.

How stretching became a new trend

Proprioceptive neuromuscular stretch

One of the most difficult types of stretching is recommended to be performed only under the supervision of a trainer. It consists of the maximum contraction of the stretched muscle: the muscle is first gently stretched and then isothermally reduced, overcoming the external resistance, which in this case is provided by the trainer.

Expert opinion

We asked the master of sports in rhythmic gymnastics what points you should pay attention to if you decide to start practicing stretching.

What are the benefits of stretching over other types of physical activity? 

First, this is an active effect on all muscle groups, especially those not involved in any way during standard physical activity. Also, stretching can remove the blockage from the nerves and muscles that bring discomfort and a feeling of stiffness. And thanks to the stimulation of blood flow, the muscles recover faster after exercise. After all, the main goal is not only to sit on the twine but also to tone the muscles. In addition, due to the return of natural flexibility, body rejuvenation begins, metabolism accelerates, posture improves, and stress is relieved. 

How stretching became a new trend

What type of stretch is best for beginners? 

For beginners, static stretching is best at the initial stage, when all movements are smooth and uniform. Each position is held for an average of 30 seconds, slowly and gently relaxing the muscles. And before any physical exercise, it is necessary to warm up the body and muscles with a warm-up: a set of exercises for all body parts for 20 minutes.

Can stretching be done independently, or is it better to do it with other physical activities?  

A set of exercises always works more efficiently, and at the end of any cardio or strength training, it is recommended to take time to stretch so that the muscles do not “clog.” 

Should a special diet accompany stretching?

When stretching, there is no need to follow a strict diet, but this does not mean you need to allow yourself any food. With or without sports, the best solution to maintaining your health is a balanced diet that strengthens your body not only from the outside but also from the inside.

What are the most common stretching mistakes people make?

The main mistake is all at once. Without patience, it isn’t easy to achieve visible results. It is necessary to do everything prudently and carefully.

They say that stretching has a lot in common with yoga – is it true? 

Nowadays, stretching has become a separate discipline aimed at improving the quality of the body, and yoga, to a greater extent, pursues the goal of developing spiritual strength and balance. 

What are the contraindications for stretch marks? 

Before your favorite sports activities, you need to consult a doctor. With varicose and vascular diseases, oncology, recent fractures, and chronic diseases in the acute stage, stretching is contraindicated, as it can aggravate the general state of health. And during the critical days, women can perform light static exercises that will help relieve painful spasms. 

How often can you exercise? 

It is best to stretch 3-4 times a week, so the muscles have time to recover. For efficiency, the main thing is not quality but quantity: the correct technique, the absence of tension, and the strict control of a professional.

When can we expect the first results?

The first results are very individual because someone is given flexibility by nature, and it can be developed, and someone will have to work for six months, or maybe more. The main thing is not to despair and give up because any training loves regularity. 


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