Instinctive stretching born with man
Where does stretching come from?
Static stretching. The best known stretching system is based on yoga and, with its positions and way of breathing, bases its practice on muscle stretching exercises. It consists in taking a certain position, which is different for each muscle or group of muscles. Then keep it for a few seconds (usually 15 to 30) to relax the muscle concerned. All this is done slowly so as not to stimulate the stretch reflex in the antagonist muscles.
Isometric stretching, the most sophisticated form, divided into several components (PNF, CRAC, CRS) which is only feasible after adequate preparation.
How to keep your joints young
The way people move is their autobiography. Gerry Spence
Stretching involving muscles, tendons, bones and joints promotes a global improvement in movement. But also better joint lubrication, thus counteracting the aging of the cartilage and thus arthrosis. In fact, stretching keeps the joints "young", slowing down the calcification of connective tissue. The stretching function is to stress the connective tissue (tendons, bands, etc.) present in the contractile structure, in addition to muscle fibers. The connective tissue is extensible (it can be lengthened), but if it is not regularly stressed with exercise, in a short time it loses this essential characteristic and ages.
- at the musculoskeletal level, stretching increases the elasticity of muscles and tendons, with an overall improvement in the ability to move;
- is an excellent form of prevention of muscle contractures. In some cases it reduces the feeling of fatigue and can prevent muscle and joint trauma;
- stretching exercises also help to decrease blood pressure by promoting circulation;
- stretching also reduces muscle tension and heart rate, so you can relax in one word. The important thing is to take comfortable postures, in which to breathe in a natural way. Good oxygenation will restore the balance of physiological functions and muscle tone, and therefore, will attenuate any state of tension in the body.
When taking incorrect positions for a long time, the contracted muscles start to shorten. Once back in the natural position, the shortened muscles put up resistance and hinder the normal realignment of the bone segments. By making your back, pelvis and leg muscles more flexible, you can more easily regain your correct posture and maintain it effortlessly.
When, where and who can practice it?
An important element is the environment in which you train: stretching usually involves a series of postures that are performed on the ground. Therefore, the floor must not be cold and it is advisable to use a carpet so that the surface to be extended is relatively comfortable. The environment should also not be noisy, because this does not contribute to relaxation.
Rules for stretching correctly
Some practical tips when you are preparing to practice this activity are:
- identify the muscle group to be stretched, look for a comfortable but effective position which, once reached, should be maintained for 15 to 30 seconds;
- that the elongation must not exceed the threshold of pain;
- before stretching, it is important that the muscle is warm. It would therefore seem more appropriate to dedicate oneself to stretching at the end of your workout, to help your body relax after your work session. But some authors suggest cold stretching to increase its effectiveness (especially at the connective tissue level);
- wear comfortable clothing, which allows very wide movements and without hindering breathing.