Fiona McMahon, DPT
We are rolling out a new tip monthly to help you increase your fitness and general health. Today we will be going over a stretch. Before we get started, let’s go over some basics.
The most common question I get asked when I give people a stretch to do is, “ should I do this stretch before or after I work out?” My answer usually is, whenever you are most likely to remember to do it. The best stretch or exercise is one you actually do”. I then go on to explain that you get a little more bang for your buck if you do it after exercise. In a Cochrane review, researchers show that stretching before exercise typically reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by ½ point on a 100 point scale and stretching afterwards reduced muscle soreness by 1 point on a 100 point scale.
Reading that last paragraph, you probably thought, “small potatoes, Fiona, 1 point is not worth disrupting my routine for”. But stretching has many other benefits. The Mayo Clinic Reports that regular stretching has been shown to improve athletic performance, improve blood flow to the muscle, and reduce risk of injuries. Do I have your attention yet?
Let’s introduce July’s stretch:
Muscles involved: The adductors, or inner thigh muscles. These muscles primarily serve the function to bring your legs together and are commonly involved in “groin tears”
Stretch Type: Static: Best if performed after workouts on warm muscles. Exercise caution if stretching cold ( unwarmed up) muscle.
As always: No stretch should ever be painful. If a stretch is painful, stop and consult your physical therapist for modification.
Directions: Hold this pose for 30 seconds to a minute; repeat. You may increase the intensity of this stretch, by hinging at the hips and bringing your torso forward over your legs. Remember, to keep your back straight and that this should be a gentle stretch and should not be painful.
Learn more about Melissa Stendahl here!
Herbert R, de Noronha M, Kamper S. Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Review. 2011.
Mayo Clinic Staff. Stretching: Focus on Flexibility. Mayo Clinic. 2014. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931?pg=1. [Accessed: July 23,2016}