Are you interested in reducing your risk of injury? We here at Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness can help! While there are many ways to reduce the likelihood you may become injured, stretching is beneficial for so many reasons.
Sitting down, standing up, and other movements are often made without a second thought. Though we don’t think about it, all of these actions engage our muscles in different ways. Increasing overall flexibility by stretching will help keep these motions fluid while also preparing your muscles and body for more strenuous activity. Here at Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness
we have a plethora of services that incorporate stretching. Below are some stretches that are beneficial for your body as well as our services which include a stretching regimen.
First we will mention static stretching and to note, there are plenty of static stretches to choose from. These movements require little space and are incredible to start warmups while also working towards increased flexibility. Sitting down or standing, a few of our favorites include: forward fold, gentle reaches for the sky, arms over the head both left and right leaning, cross body arm stretches, sitting toe reach with legs together as well as toe reaches with legs apart, and butterfly or cobblers pose. If you decide to do all of these, most major muscle groups will be engaged and start to loosen up for more intensive stretching or other activities!
While all of these movements may not require assistance, sometimes a prop can help you maintain positions longer or alleviate uncomfortable pressure if some are too intense. In our return to sports training services we often highly advise modified stretches and movements. A main prop we would recommend is often referred to as a “block” in yoga. This can be any firm rectangular item such as a dictionary or even a folded up towel. The reason this prop is beneficial is because it brings the ground closer to you or lifts you further from it. Creating different angles with our bodies can feel more natural and comfortable which is what we want! Do not press yourself too hard. Instead of reducing your chances of injury through stretching you might be causing more harm to your muscles and joints.
An incredible low impact activity while moving is going for a walk. While walking, try taking different sized strides. Larger or smaller steps engage the leg muscles differently and will also get your brain working a bit harder. Try swinging your arms more but in a controlled manner or let the rhythm of your step take the lead. Movement is good for our muscles. If we don't use them we lose them as the saying goes.
A few other stretches that can be done statically or as you begin to move include: lunges (there are lots of variations), high kicks (forward and crossbody), high knees, butt kicks, and walking with toes pointed towards the sky or on the outsides of your feet. With mild impact on the joints, these motions in movement can help build readiness for any activity or to begin the day. Come in for an injury risk assessment and we can advise what stretches would be most beneficial for you!
Whether an athlete or an everyday person, stretching can help prevent injury and increase muscle and joint range of motion. Stop into one of our locations or schedule an appointment online today to speak with one of our physical therapists and see what may be best for you!