Stretching refers to the process of elongation. Flexibility is developed when connective tissues and muscles are elongated through regular, proper stretching. Therefore, flexibility diminishes over time when these tissues are not stretched or exercised.
Stretching exercises are an important factor in maintaining a healthy and balanced body. Whenever a muscle is being used, it automatically shortens. Without regular stretching, shortened muscles will be a major cause for an imbalanced structural body over a longer period of time.
Stretching exercises are often done incorrectly with warm-up training programs. Stretching should always follow the warm up program because the elevated tissue temperatures enhances connective tissue and muscular extension, greatly reducing the risk of injury from stretching.
An Abdominal Stretch improves digestion and will aid in decreasing lower back problems. It will also promote a healthy structural body.
A regular Adductor Stretch will provide healthy knee function and help decrease the chance of knee arthritis. A Calf Stretch is necessary to keep healthy joint functions. It will also decrease the chance of an Achilles tendon injury. A good Hamstring Stretch will ease off tension in the lower back. A Low Back Stretch is essential for keeping our spine healthy and mobile. The lower back consists of muscles that run longitudinally and diagonally, crossing over each other. It is important to stretch the lower back to prevent unnecessary trigger points (knots in muscles). An effective daily Neck Stretch is almost a necessity if you sit in front of the computer all day to decrease the shoulder-forward effect. A Pectoral Stretch is a must for those working with their arms a lot. Shortened pectoral muscles will pull the shoulders forward and cause tension in the upper back. The Piriformis Stretch will keep your buttock muscle soft and prevent annoying conditions such as Piriformis Syndrome (sciatic pain). A Quadricep Stretch is important for keeping hip and knee aligned and will decrease the chances of knee arthritis. A Shoulder Stretch will keep the entire shoulder girdle in structural balance, which will help out the neck, chest and upper back.
Different Stretching Techniques can optimize an athlete's performance. It can also increase the mental and physical relaxation and develop body awareness. Furthermore, it reduces the risk of injuries and back problems. It can reduce muscle soreness and muscle tension. It can aid in the breaking up of adhesions and painful trigger points (knots in muscles) and prevent further ones, maintaining healthy joint functions. Regular Stretching will also aid in maintaining physically balanced and postural body. And it can even decrease painful menstruation in females. Proper Breathing Techniques are an important factor when stretching.