Dynamic Stretching For Optimal Performance

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August topic: How to have a pain-free summer outside! Part 2-Stretching for Outdoor Enthusiasts Do I really need to stretch before I head outdoors? We always hear about how important it is to stretch before activity but why is this so? Why can't I just hop on the trail/mountain and use the first part of my activity as my warm up? According to the research by Small K, et. al, stretching prior to activity is important because the decreased range of motion coming from tight muscles can lead to muscle imbalances (1). This can lead to pain, injury, poor motor patterns and posture imbalances. These impairments can lead to time away from activities you enjoy! Therefore, prepping the muscles for activity is an important key to preventing injury. What kind of stretching should I do? There are two main types of stretching — static and dynamic. (A) Static stretching means to hold a position for an extended amount of time. (B) Dynamic stretching means a brief hold while in motion. Both types can help to increase range of motion. Dynamic stretching has been shown to increase an athlete’s agility, power, jumping and running performance (2,3). Static stretching beyond 1 minute has been shown to start the changes in the actin and myosin muscle fibers that contribute to increasing length vs time less than 1 minute. When a patient performs a calf stretch 1 min 8-10x/day these changes not only occur in the tissue physiology, but in the brain (4). To determine what your imbalances are and what muscles may be tight make an appointment to come see us or see your location physical therapist and ask for a musculoskeletal check-up. These check-ups can prevent future long-term injuries. Check out our website www.ancpt.com Here's look at some dynamic stretching before heading to the mountains! (References available upon request) Post written by Stacey Schwartz from ANCPT#decreasepain#outdoorsports#gettingbuffandtight#gettingoldandtight#stretching#outdoorrecreation#performance#hiking#kneeproblems#backproblems#footproblems#shoulderproblems#PTsareawesome#musculoskeletalcheckups

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