We are back today with more info about stretching! Last week we talked a little bit about the health benefits of stretching, and this week we’re going to get into assisted stretching!
Assisted stretching is awesome for a many reasons. However, the largest benefit comes from being able to increase your range of motion in each position. This allows you to get into a position or get a deeper stretch when you normally would not be able to on your own.
For example, say you want to work on your standing quad stretch but you can’t reach your foot. By stretching with a strap or a band you are now able to reach your foot and easily get into the stretch. Eventually you will no longer need the assistance and will be able to reach your foot on your own.
Below we’ll talk about assisted stretching with a yoga strap and with the help of a resistance band.
Assisted stretching with a yoga strap
Assisted stretching with a yoga strap is awesome because you can use the strap in a variety of ways. Below is great video outlining the basics of assisted stretching with a yoga strap from Green Mountain at Fox Run. In this video they go over some of my favorite shoulder and hip stretches.
Assisted stretching using resistance bands
Assisted stretching with resistance bands is another great option especially since so many of us already have resistance bands laying around the house!
I like using a heavier 41″ loop band (35-50 pounds) for assisted stretching. The lighter bands don’t give as much assistance since they stretch easier. If you have a lighter band and want to stretch with it try folding the band over a few times, and hold it very taut. This will reduce the stretchiness of the band.
Here are a few of my favorite assisted stretches with the 41″ loop band!
Q&A – Do you suggest stretching before or after a workout?
I suggest doing a more thorough stretch after a workout simply because our bodies are warmed up which decreases stiffness in our muscles. For example, think about your muscles like a piece of steak. Steak right out of the fridge isn’t as malleable as steak right off the grill.
When we heat up our muscles we’re able to stretch more comfortably, get deeper into the stretch and have a more productive stretching session. Some of my best stretching sessions were in Thailand in 90 something degrees and extremely high humidity!
Next week we’ll be back with more stretching tips!! Get ready for some static stretching!
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EDBS blog manager, personal trainer, group fitness instructor, traveler, writer, doggy momma, dancer, and lover of life.