The importance of stretching


What is Stretching?

Stretching is an action which allows us to straighten or extend different body parts to its full length in order to prevent certain injuries from occurring.

Many people underestimate the importance of stretching and the benefits this can have for physical health. Stretching isn’t just beneficial for those who are involved with in sports or the fitness industry.  In fact, stretching is just as beneficial to those who are in a job which may be desk bound and found to be in one position for a long period of time. 

Now is the time to learn how beneficial stretching can be and to get up and move our bodies.

Types of Stretching

Stretching can be classified into two categories; static and dynamic stretching. Static stretching is a movement which is slow and held in position for a longer duration, whereas dynamic is an active movement involving more energy.


Static stretches are usually a stretch held for any time from 10s up to 30s. Static stretches tend to be used in a sport setting after exercise due to the tissues already being warmed up and lengthened. Here are some examples;

  • Standing hamstring stretch
  • Calf stretch
  • Standing quad stretch
  • Seated butterfly stretch


Dynamic stretching is a stretch involving movement working through the range of the joint. This type of stretching is very beneficial before completing exercises as it gets the blood pumping to the muscles. Here are some examples;

  • Leg swings
  • Jumping jacks
  • Arm circles
  • Lunges

The Benefits of Stretching

Stretching has a variety of benefits which can improve your day-to-day living. Not only will it physically benefit you, but it will mentally benefit you as well.

Stretching can improve posture.

For those of you who may be sat at a desk for eight hours a day may start to feel tightness which may be specifically around the chest, back and hip area. One common injury we find with posture and desk bound jobs is that sitting at a desk can shorten your hip flexors which then lead to lower back pain. Stretching can help improve this tightness and restriction. Sports massage can also be beneficial in helping lengthen and loosen the tightness and restrictions that build up.

Stretching can improve range of motion.

Range of motion over time decreases due to age. By keeping on top of our stretches and mobility, this can help reverse any loss of range which may occur at some joints. Not only this, but younger sportsman as well can lose range of motion if they do not complete stretching after intense exercise and training and therefore need to keep on top of it to maintain range.

Stretching prevents injuries.

Overstretching muscles when they aren’t warm and prepared can lead to tears and strains. By stretching, we are preparing the muscles by warming them up and decreasing any tightness or restriction which may lead to injury. This is why some individuals get a massage pre-events and competitions to allow the muscles to be nice and warm and prepared to go into those overstretched positions.

Stretching can also improve balance.

Stretching should NOT be painful. You should be able to stretch and feel resistance, but no pain should be present. Please seek further assistance if pain is presenting when stretching.

Predominantly our main muscle groups are the area’s which require to be stretched often. By often, it is suggested that we stretch 3-4x a week for 15 minutes to maintain and improve flexibility. Here are some muscle groups to focus on;

  • Calves
  • Groin
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Hip/ IT Band

For example stretches have a look at our exercise videos.

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