How often should I stretch or strengthen?
This blog will address the differences between the two and give us a better understanding of when they are most beneficial to use.
Stretch: Stretching is a form of physical exercise where we work to elongate a specific muscle in order to increase flexibility and therefore increase range of motion and muscle control. Stretching can be dynamic or static.
Dynamic stretch: This form of stretching is a repetitive movement based exercise. It’s usually done before starting any form of physical activity like lifting weights, running or playing a sport.
For example: arm circles, hip rotation, ankle rotation.
Recommended dosage: Set- 1, Repetition- 10 times for each movement (warm up) before starting the workout/activity.
Static stretch: This form of stretching occurs when a specific muscle is held in an elongated position for a certain period of time and is usually incorporated during a cool down. This helps the muscle to increase flexibility and maintain the range of motion of a particular joint.
Recommended dosage: Generally, this form of stretching can be done 2 times a day. It can be done in 2 ways- Set- 1 hold for 15sec and repeat 3 times or hold for 20 sec and repeat 2-3 times. It’s important to make sure that you feel a comfortable stretch and remember that it should never be painful.
For example: butterfly stretch for inner thighs.
Strengthening: As the name suggests, this involves increasing power and becoming stronger. There are various ways to increase strength.
For example: body weight exercise, dumb bells, kettle bell, bar bell, thera-band etc.
Recommended dosage: Set- 2. Repetitions- 8-12. Once a day. But this can change depending on your goal and should be discussed further with your Physio/Athletic therapist or trainer.
Dynamic stretch- should be done before starting any workout.
Static stretching- can be done 1 or 2 times a day, depending on the goal.
Strength training- once a day.
The above recommendation may vary if you have any injury. Please consult your Doctor or Physiotherapist for proper guidance to get back into a workout routine.