Last week, I discussed why your stretches are not giving you the results you were hoping for. As promised, this week it is time to talk about what you can do differently to get better results.
So let’s get to it!
Gain the motion, then use the motion
If you still want to stretch, cool, keep doing that. But, I highly encourage you to and an element. When you stretch a muscle, you allow the joint to move further. Problem is, the body has no clue what to do with that increased motion because it has not moved in that range for a really long time. This is another reason the muscle goes back to the previous length.
What can be helpful is after you stretch, doing something to use the motion in a loaded position. Being loaded is important! What do I mean by this? Here’s an example: Let’s say you are stretching your calves. After you finish your stretch, do some exercises that reinforce that motion of the toes coming up toward you, such as body weight squats and accentuated and deliberate backwards walking. (There are lots of options, just throwing those two out for you.)
That same theory can be applied to any muscle you typically stretch. If you do that, you may notice the stretching beginning to actually be helpful.
Or, you can save time and combine the stretch and the loaded position by doing active mobility exercises rather than the static holds. Personally, I prefer these because 1) I feel they are more effective, and 2) it saves time.
These types of exercises allow you to challenge the range, gain the range, and retrain the stability and control in that range, all at the same time.
Not sure what this looks like? Here are a few examples:
Once again, those are just a few options. Sometimes it is simply being creative and playing around with movements to see what works for you.
So, if you have been stretching for months without lasting results, it is time for you to do something different. That something different just might be changing up how you are doing your mobility work so it can be more effective.
Not sure where to go next? No problem! Schedule a complimentary consultation with Brianne to find out what your best next steps might be.