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Tips on how to properly stretch from your Denver physical therapist

May 15, 2019

There are many reasons you should stretch, and as our team at Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness knows, they aren’t all workout related. Stretching can help improve circulation, increase range of motion, reduce stress, improve coordination, and even relieve joint and muscle pain. By taking time to stretch, you are increasing the blood flow to your muscle groups, just another reason that stretching can, and should, be incorporated into your daily routine. 

Your Denver physical therapist is here with the most important stretching dos and don’ts when stretching. Always remember, that when it comes to physical exercise during recovery always abide by your physical therapist’s recommendations. 

  • Remember that static stretching is important in maintaining flexibility but it is most helpful after working out, not prior. By stretching after a workout you can help with prevent extreme muscle soreness in the days following your workout. 
  • Stretch sore muscles throughout the day, even during a workout. For example, while you are working out your legs, stretch your arms in between sets. Stretching between workout sets in general can help stretching become part of your routine. 
  • Use traction (such as resistance bands) to help stretch joints and increase your range of motion when stretching. 
  • Always control your stretching. It’s important to be careful to control stretching to make sure you are stretching the appropriate muscle groups as intended. 
  • Stretch your tightest muscle first. Tight muscles can inhibit your full range of motion, making it difficult to get the most out of your full workout. 
  • Continue stretching throughout your workout, and stretch surrounding muscle groups. By doing this you will achieve a greater range of motion and help to strengthen your body. Rolling on a foam roller and utilizing resistance brands and cords can help achieve this.
  • Hold each stretch for at least thirty seconds. Holding stretches for at least thirty seconds will give your body time to relax and lengthen muscles. 
  • Never bounce when stretching! Bouncing can cause microtears within your muscles and cause greater problems later with flexibility and range of motion.

  • Avoid stretching first thing in the morning, instead we recommend stretching after being awake for a few hours.
  • Do not hold your breath while stretching! Holding your breath will cause your muscles to tense, which is the opposite of what you are wanting to do. Taking deep breaths while stretching and maintaining a normal breathing pattern will help to keep your body relaxed. 
  • When working out, don’t workout the muscle you just spent time stretching. Stretch with the goal in mind to help loosen your muscles, not to use them again. 

If you are experiencing any pain during exercise it’s extremely important that you discuss your symptoms with your doctor or physical therapist. If you are looking to improve your physical health situation and are in need of physical therapy due to an accident or other physical ailments, contact Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness today and we will be happy to assist you with your first steps towards recovery. Our extensive team of qualified physical therapists and specialists go above and beyond the call of duty to provide the highest quality treatment in the industry.