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Stretching FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions about stretching.

This FAQ about stretching was compiled and written by Brad Appleton Brad_Appleton@ivhs.mot.com with numerous contributions by others.

-0 - Introduction (Stretching FAQ)
This document is a modest attempt to compile a wealth of information ...
-0 - Disclaimer (Stretching FAQ)
Although every effort has been made to ensure that all ...
-0 - Acknowledgements (Stretching FAQ)
Thanks to all the readers of the `rec.martial-arts', `rec.arts.dance' ...
-1 - Physiology of Stretching
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce you to some of the ...
-1.1 - The Musculoskeletal System (Stretching)
Together, muscles and bones comprise what is called the ...
-1.2 - Muscle Composition (Stretching)
Muscles vary in shape and in size, and serve many different purposes. ...
-1.2.1 - How Muscles Contract (Stretching)
The way in which all these various levels of the muscle operate is ...
-1.2.2 - Fast and Slow Muscle Fibers (Stretching)
The energy which produces the calcium flow in the muscle fibers comes ...
-1.3 - Connective Tissue (Stretching)
Located all around the muscle and its fibers are connective tissues....
-1.4 - Cooperating Muscle Groups (Stretching)
When muscles cause a limb to move through the joint's range of motion, ...
-1.5 - Types of Muscle Contractions (Stretching)
The contraction of a muscle does not necessarily imply that the ...
-1.6 - What Happens When You Stretch
The stretching of a muscle fiber begins with the sarcomere (See 1.2 -...
-1.6.1 - Proprioceptors (Stretching)
The nerve endings that relay all the information about the ...
-1.6.2 - The Stretch Reflex
When the muscle is stretched, so is the muscle spindle (See 1.6.1 -...
-1.6.2.1 - Components of the Stretch Reflex
The stretch reflex has both a dynamic component and a static component....
-1.6.3 - The Lengthening Reaction (Stretching)
When muscles contract (possibly due to the stretch reflex), they ...
-1.6.4 - Reciprocal Inhibition (Stretching)
When an agonist contracts, in order to cause the desired motion, it ...
-2 - Flexibility
Flexibility is defined by Gummerson as the absolute range of movement in ...
-2.1 - Types of Flexibility
Many people are unaware of the fact that there are different types ...
-2.2 - Factors Limiting Flexibility
According to Gummerson, flexibility (he uses the term mobility) ...
-2.2.1 - How Connective Tissue Affects Flexibility
The resistance to lengthening that is offered by a muscle is dependent ...
-2.2.2 - How Aging Affects Flexibility
With appropriate training, flexibility can, and should, be developed at ...
-2.3 - Strength and Flexibility
Strength training and flexibility training should go hand in hand. It is ...
-2.3.1 - Why Bodybuilders Should Stretch
One of the best times to stretch is right after a strength workout such ...
-2.3.2 - Why Contortionists Should Strengthen
You should be tempering (or balancing) your flexibility training ...
-2.4 - Overflexibility
It is possible for the muscles of a joint to become too flexible....
-3 - Types of Stretching
Just as there are different types of flexibility, there are also ...
-3.1 - Ballistic Stretching
Ballistic stretching uses the momentum of a moving body or a limb in ...
-3.2 - Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching, according to Kurz, involves moving parts of ...
-3.3 - Active Stretching
Active stretching is also referred to as static-active stretching. ...
-3.4 - Passive Stretching
Passive stretching is also referred to as relaxed stretching, and ...
-3.5 - Static Stretching
Many people use the term passive stretching and static ...
-3.6 - Isometric Stretching
Isometric stretching is a type of static stretching (meaning it does ...
-3.6.1 - How Isometric Stretching Works
Recall from our previous discussion (See 1.2.1 - How Muscles Contract)...
-3.7 - PNF Stretching
PNF stretching is currently the fastest and most effective way known ...
-3.7.1 - How PNF Stretching Works
Remember that during an isometric stretch, when the muscle performing ...
-4 - How to Stretch
When done properly, stretching can do more than just increase flexibility....
-4.1 - Warming Up (Stretching)
Stretching is *not* warming up! It is, however, a very important part ...
-4.1.1 - General Warm-Up (Stretching)
The general warm-up is divided into two parts:...
-4.1.1.1 - Joint Rotations (Stretching)
The general warm-up should begin with joint-rotations, starting either ...
-4.1.1.2 - Aerobic Activity (Stretching)
After you have performed the joint rotations, you should engage in at ...
-4.1.2 - Warm-Up Stretching
The stretching phase of your warmup should consist of two parts:...
-4.1.2.1 - Static Warm-Up Stretching
Once the general warm-up has been completed, the muscles are warmer ...
-4.1.2.2 - Dynamic Warm-Up Stretching
Once you have performed your static stretches, you should engage in ...
-4.1.3 - Sport-Specific Activity
The last part of your warm-up should be devoted to performing ...
-4.2 - Cooling Down (Stretching)
Stretching is *not* a legitimate means of cooling down. It is only part ...
-4.3 - Massage (Stretching)
Many people are unaware of the beneficial role that massage can play ...
-4.4 - Elements of a Good Stretch
According to `SynerStretch', there are three factors to consider ...
-4.4.1 - Isolation (Stretching)
Ideally, a particular stretch should work only the muscles you are ...
-4.4.2 - Leverage (Stretching)
Having leverage during a stretch means having sufficient control over ...
-4.4.3 - Risk (Stretching)
Although a stretch may be very effective in terms of providing the ...
-4.5 - Some Risky Stretches
The following stretches (many of which are commonly performed) ...
-4.6 - Duration, Counting, and Repetition (Stretching)
One thing many people seem to disagree about is how long to hold a ...
-4.7 - Breathing During Stretching
Proper breathing control is important for a successful stretch. ...
-4.8 - Exercise Order (Stretching)
Many people are unaware of the fact that the order in which you ...
-4.9 - When to Stretch
The best time to stretch is when your muscles are warmed up. If they ...
-4.9.1 - Early-Morning Stretching
On the other hand, according to Kurz, if you need [or want] to ...
-4.10 - Stretching With a Partner
When done properly, stretches performed with the assistance of a ...
-4.11 - Stretching to Increase Flexibility
When stretching for the purpose of increasing overall flexibility, ...
-4.12 - Pain and Discomfort (Stretching)
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort before, during, or ...
-4.12.1 - Common Causes of Muscular Soreness (Stretching)
If you are experiencing soreness, stiffness, or some other form of ...
-4.12.2 - Stretching with Pain
If you are already experiencing some type of pain or discomfort before ...
-4.12.3 - Overstretching
If you stretch properly, you should *not* be sore the day after you ...
-4.13 - Performing Splits (Stretching)
A lot of people seem to desire the ability to perform splits. If you ...
-4.13.1 - Common Problems When Performing Splits (Stretching)
First of all, there are two kinds of splits: front and side (the side ...
-4.13.2 - The Front Split (Stretching)
For front splits, the front leg should be straight and its kneecap ...
-4.13.3 - The Side Split (Stretching)
For side splits, you can either have both kneecaps (and insteps) facing ...
-4.13.4 - Split-Stretching Machines
Many of you may have seen an advertisement for a split-stretching ...
-99 - References on Stretching
I don't know if these are *all* good, but I am aware of the following ...
-99.1 - Recommendations (Stretching)
My best recommendations are for `Sport Stretch' and `...
-99.2 - Additional Comments (Stretching)
Here is a little more information about some of the references (I haven'...
-100 - Working Toward the Splits
The following stretching routine is tailored specifically to the purpose ...
-100.1 - Lower Back Stretches
These stretches work mostly the lower back, but also make some demands ...
-100.2 - Lying Buttock Stretch
This mainly stretches your buttocks (gluteal muscles) but also makes ...
-100.3 - Groin And Inner-Thigh Stretch
This mainly stretches your groin and upper inner-thigh area, but also ...
-100.4 - Seated Leg Stretches
These include three different stretches performed for the calves,...
-100.4.1 - Seated Calf Stretch
With your leg extended directly in front of you, face your leg and bend ...
-100.4.2 - Seated Hamstring Stretch
Now that our calf is stretched, we can get a more effective ...
-100.4.3 - Seated Inner-Thigh Stretch
You should still be sitting on the bench with your outstretched leg ...
-100.5 - Psoas Stretch
This stretch is sometimes called the runner's start because the ...
-100.6 - Quadricep Stretch
For this stretch you will need one (or two) pillows or soft cushions ...
-100.7 - Lying `V' Stretch
This stretch is very good for working toward a side (chinese) split (...
-101 - Normal Ranges of Joint Motion
According to Kurz, the following tables indicates the normal ranges ...









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