Are you interested in adding stretching exercises to improve flexibility into your daily routine? It’s easy to feel the stress of injured muscles or simple tension. Stretching your muscles allows your muscles to elongate and become more flexible.
One method of stretching exercises to improve flexibility is to use a series of resistance stretching techniques. Resistance stretching is attracting a lot of attention these days, especially with successful Olympic athletes like Dara Torres advocating its benefits.
How is resistance stretching different from other stretching exercises to improve flexibility? Resistance stretching emphasizes flexing your muscles as you stretch them. Think of it as contracting your muscles as you attempt to lengthen them. For instance, as you do a leg lift exercise, don’t allow your muscles to relax as you let your leg come down. Instead, keep the muscle contracted.
Another example is to work with a partner on resistance training – the person stretching their muscles resists the movement of the other person that is moving the arms or legs. The resistance comes from keeping the muscle involved even while stretching.
Resistance stretching is a very effective stretching exercise to improve flexibility because the technique lengthens the muscles while the muscle is in action. Most of the resistance training exercises can be done without any additional equipment, or simple equipment such as folded towels, stretching bands, a chair or wall. You can also do some of the stretches with a partner for maximum effectiveness.
Like any other stretching exercises to improve flexibility, resistance stretching is most effective when repetitions of the activity occur. The benefits of resistance stretching are realized when the muscle is using more force to stretch than would be used to strengthen the muscle.
Don’t confuse resistance stretching with pushing your muscles past the point of comfort level. Many people stretch to the point of pain, thinking that is resistance. That type of stretching will result in injury. Resistance stretching places your muscles in active use while stretching – but you never extend past the point of a comfortable stretch.
Resistance stretching not only makes your muscles stronger, it also helps increase overall flexibility. Gradually, with continual training, your muscles will lengthen and stretch farther than ever. You will also have increased your muscles overall strength – both consequences help you become stronger in your daily activities or sports endeavors.
Resistance stretching is a great form of stretching to improve flexibility. When you use this method of stretching, you notice that you feel like you’ve really had a work out – but in a positive way. Your muscles are worked, without the pain and stress of strength training. Give resistance stretching a try – your muscles will thank you.