Stretching Exercise, benefits and types

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Stretching Exercise flexibility and 

strengthening

Stretching is a form of physical exercise, it targets a specific muscles or tendon( or muscles group) and makes flexed, stretched in order to improve the muscles felt elasticity, reduce stress or tightness of the muscle. The results of stretching getting good muscles with a flexible physique and avoid injuries.
There are three main types of stretching exercise

1. Static stretching

Static stretches are those in which the stretch position is assumed, slowly and gently and hold for any period between 15 to 60 seconds.

2. Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching is movement-based function stretching exercise, where joints are taken through the range in a slow and controlled manner and gradually increasing in range, speed of movement, or both the same time.

3. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation(PNF)

PNF stretching exercise is those performed by alternating isometric contraction and relaxation of both the ‘agonist’ and ‘antaagonist’ muscle groups. it is also known as ‘contract -relax’ method.
This technique is generally performed with a partner (trainer), in order to get large short term flexibility gain.

Why stretching is important

Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. And we need that flexibility to maintain or reach a range of motion in the joints. Without stretching the muscles shorten and become tight, and this could be a high risk of joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.

Benefits or Advantage of Stretching

Stretching plays an important role in the workout, sports, yoga, and day to day life activity. when you are playing any type of sports, there are many types of a high level of jerk or bending movements in your joint or muscle, if your body is not enough flex to withstand the jerk or high tension due to tightness of muscles or body can turn into a severe injury.

Ease muscles pain and tension

Using stretching exercises is a great way to ease muscle pain and tension.

Add flexibility

Stretching exercise has been proven to reduce the risk of injury by loosing or adding flexibility to your muscles.

Complete range of motion 

Performing stretching exercises will make sure you don’t lose flexibility or complete range of motion, which is essential in achieving day to day tasks or fitness goals in life.

Improve performance

Improves your performance in physical activities or exercise by giving flexibility and removing the pain of muscles or joints.

Increase blood flow

Increases blood flow to your muscles, stretching increase heart rate and cool down body temperature.

Improve posture 

stretching Improves your posture, by making a flexible body.

Helps to heal and prevent back pain

Stretching properly after a workout will not dissipate all pain, but will definitely minimize it to a large extent. If your muscles remain tight after a workout, it increases your risk of muscle injury, Stretching can minimize and reduce your predisposition to injuries in muscles or joints.

Provide mind to muscles connection

Stretching is a great way for stress relief of muscles, and provide muscle to mind connection.

Eliminates Lactic Acid

During any exercise in the gym, the body produces lactic acid which makes the muscles fatigued and sore. Hence, it is important to stretch as stretching eliminates the lactic acid that has accumulated inside the body and also relaxes the muscles.

Boost your energy

Stretching properly, you will feel that your energy level is steady and consistent. as stretching cools down your body, the brain releases endorphins, a natural and healthy feel-good chemical. After a good post-workout stretching exercise done, You will feel energized and ready to complete any task in your further movement.

Stretching recommendations

Stretching for different purposes may be required in a different specificity of dosage, for example, stretching prescription to regain hamstring length following an injury may consist of 5X30 seconds 3 times daily.
Using static stretches before to exercise, And it is recommended, they are the part of warm-up routine including running or cycling.
 Stretching must be performed without pain or significant discomfort, overstretching can lead to injury.
Upper Body Stretching Exercise

Head tilt forward

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stand up with your back straight and tilt your head down towards your chest.
At maximum stretch hold for a position for serval movements.
Tilt your head back to its starting positionBe careful, not to tilt your head back too far.
This exercise stretches the cervical spine and cervical paraspinal musculature.
This exercise useful for neck pain.

Head tilt sideways/ side flexion stretch

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Stand up with your back straight and tilt your head sideways towards your left shoulder.
Hold your head at maximum for several movements.
Tilt your head back to its starting position, but continue on to the right side shoulder and repeat the same.
Chain together these steps to accomplish fluid and smooth movements.
This exercise will stretch the cervical spine, upper trapezius, and scalenes muscles of the neck.
This is useful in reducing neck pain and postural dysfunction.

Head lift to right rotation

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1. Stand up with your back straight and rotate your head to the left side.
2. Rotate your back to starting position and continue on to the right side.
3. Chain together these steps to accomplish fluid and smooth movements.
4. This exercise target the cervical spine and musculature parts.
5. This exercise helps in neck pain and cervicogenic headache.

Neck shrugs

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Stand up in straight position, lift your both shoulder up into a high shrug.
Hold the position for several seconds.
This exercise targets upper trapezius and postural muscles.
This exercise is useful for postural dysfunction and neck pain.

Arm in the front shoulder

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Stand up and grab your right elbow in the front of your chest using your left hand.
Stretch by pulling your elbow towards your chest.
Hold the position for several seconds and then repeat the same for alternate when done.
The exercise will stretch your shoulder poster deltoid muscles and shoulder posterior capsule.
This exercise helps in avoid shoulder injury and flexed.

Upper arm up shoulder stretch

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Stand up and grab your right elbow up on the side of your head using your right hand.
Stretch shoulder by pulling your elbow towards the back of your head and hold for several seconds, before moving on the other side.
This exercise will stretch your shoulder and triceps muscles.
This exercise helps in avoid shoulder injury and flexed.

Sideways arms swing

Stand up and extend your arms out to each side.
Swing your arms in and out while keeping them straight throughout.
This exercise will stretch your shoulder and chest muscles alternately.
This exercise helps to avoid shoulder injury, remove shoulder pain, and remove stress.


Arms behind back reach

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Stand up, put your left hand behind your back over your left shoulder and right hand behind your back against the lower back.
Stretch by moving your hands towards each other, holding on to one another if you can, and hold the stretch for a few movements.
This exercise will mainly stretch your shoulder muscles.
This exercise helps to avoid shoulder injury/ pathology.

Shoulder abduction stretch

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Stand parallel to the wall and, put your right-hand fingers on the wall.
Increase the intensity lean towards the wall at top of the movement.
Hold for several moments, change hand, and repeat the same.
This exercise targets shoulder joints.
This exercise helps to avoid shoulder injury.

Wrist flexor stretch

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Stand up, make your right hand straight and parallel to the ground, hold your finger palm facing outwards by the right hand and stretch wrist by bending it at 90 degrees towards down.
Hold the position for several seconds, come starting position, and change your hand and repeat the same.
This will target your wrist joint and wrist flexors.
This exercise helps to avoid wrist pain.

Wrist extensor stretch

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Stand up, make your right hand straight and parallel to the ground, hold your finger palm facing inwards by the right hand and stretch wrist by bending it at 90 degrees towards down.
Hold the position for several movements seconds, come starting position, and change your hand and repeat the same.
This will target your wrist joint and wrist extensors.
This exercise helps avoid wrist pain.

Triceps stretch

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Stand up, place your hand on the opposite shoulder, with the arms behind your head.
Grasp elbow with any hand and pull to the side, hold the ultimate position for several movements.
Now change the hand and repeat the same for another hand.

Biceps stretch

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Stand up and take your both hands back, clasp your finger together behind your back, and rotate your palm away from your body.
Gently lift arms upward, and hold for several movements and then come to starting position.

Sitting Trunk rotation

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Sit down on the chair, legs straight to downwards, away from each other.
Stretch by rotating your upper body to one side then to the other side.
This exercise will stretch your back muscles, chest abdominal muscles.

Lower back flexion stretch(child’s pose)

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Sit down on your knees, start on your and knees in the four-point kneeling position.
Bring your hand down towards the ground and then gently forwards your hand along with the ground.
Hold at an ultimate position for several seconds and come back starting position.
This stretching will help to stretch the entire spine, global back musculature.
The benefits of this, remove back pain along with back flexibility.

Lower back extension stretch

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Lie on a mate with downwards facing, place your hand on the floor at chest level.
Gently push through arms and lift torso off the ground, ensure pelvis remains touching to ground.
Hold the maximum stretch or ultimate position for several seconds.
This exercise stretches your lumbar spine, lumbar paraspinal -musculature.
The advantage of this stretch reduces lower back pain.

Low back ‘ cat /camel’ stretch

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Start this, bend on your hand and knees in the four-point in the kneeling position.
Arch your low back up, towards the upwards, brining chin close to the chest and tucking in your buttock (Cat pose).
Now bring your navel down towards the ground, lifting up your head, and protruding in your buttock( Camel pose).
Hold at ultimate points on each side for several movements.
This exercise stretch the entire spine, and global back musculature.
It helps in back pain and postural dysfunction.

Lower back rotation stretch

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Lie down with the support of your back and split arms outwards, flex hips to 90 degrees.
Gently rotate lower legs to one side, and ensure shoulder should be remain grounded and facing opposite of the direction of rotation.
Hold the maximum stretch or ultimate position for several seconds.
This exercise stretches your lumbar spine, lumbar paraspinal -musculature.
The advantage of this stretch reduces lower back pain.
Lower Body Stretching Exercises

Side legs stretch

Spread your legs apart from one another and move your weight on your left leg, flexing your left knee while keeping your right leg extended.
Stretch by lowering yourself down and hold the stretch position for several movements before switching.
This exercise will stretch inner thigh muscles primarily.

Front leg stretch/ Quardrips strech

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Stand on your right leg and hold your left foot with your left hand behind your buttocks.
Stretch by pulling on your foot and hold for several seconds before changing the side for another leg.
This exercise is excellent at stretching your quadriceps, located in front of thighs.
This exercise helps in quadriceps injury/pathology patellofemoral.

Ankle plantarflexion stretch

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Place pillow on the ground sit down, kneel with a pillow underneath your foot.
Place your hand backside and rest in-ground, lean backward.
Hold the position for several movements.
This exercise will stretch the ankle joint and tibialis anterior.
This exercise is helpful for ankle stiffness and anterior ankle impingements.

Hamstring stretch

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Sit down on the floor with extending the single leg and bend another inwards.
Place both hands on the extended leg, gently move your torso by pointing toes.
Hold the ultimate maximum stretch position for several seconds.
This exercise will stretch your hamstring muscle,
This exercise useful to avoiding hamstring injury/ pathology and low back pain.

Hip flexor stretch

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Keep one step forward into a split lunge, keep hands inside back.
Lean move forwards with hands, stretch your hip at maximum level.
Hold at a maximum point for several seconds.
This exercise will stretch your iliopsoas and rectus femoris.
This exercise is helpful for femoroacetabular impingement and lower back pain.

Butterfly stretch

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Sit down on the floor, knees bent in front of you, the sole of your feet should press against each other.
Stretch down by pushing your knees by and again leave for starting position, give a butterfly movement.

Calf and hamstring stretch

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Lie down on the floor by the support of back and make your leg at 90 degrees perpendicular to your body.
Stretch your leg towards your face by pulling.
Hold the position at the maximum level for several movements.
This exercise will stretch your hamstring and calf muscles.
This will help to decrease the stress of calf and hamstring muscles.

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