I want to share the basics of three types of stretching with you because of the positive impact it has on blood sugar levels. If you are new to stretching, please keep an eye on your blood sugars for the first few sessions as it can be more challenging that you would think. However, before you begin, learn a little bit about it so you are not just stretching for the sake of it.
There are positives behind the three types of stretching. But, tet’s start with why we stretch after exercise, and sometimes before. To put this as simple as possible; when you lift weight, use resistance or even just carry your own body weight your muscles become accustomed to a certain action and the muscle begins to shorten. We stretch to do the opposite; to lengthen the muscle.
There are 3 main types of stretching.
This is the most popular form of stretching; you have most likely used static stretching during a P.E. session at school or even before a short jog. Static stretching involves taking a muscle to the end of its range of movement and holding it in this position. Example: standing quadriceps stretch. This is safe for beginners. A pre warm up stretch will last 8-10seconds and a cool down stretch will last 15-30 seconds.
This discipline allows you to strengthen and stretch during the same action. Example: a dancer would do front kicks; this would stretch the hamstrings whilst strengthening their quadriceps. The use of dynamic stretching is often used as part of a warm up in an aerobics class.
I would not recommend this to beginners. Ballistic stretching uses bounces and forceful movements to stretch a muscle. This will take the muscle beyond its natural range of motion. It stimulates the stretch reflex allowing you to go that bit further than you would with any other stretch. Ballistic stretching is used in martial arts, gymnastics and karate.
There are lots of arguments that are either for and against each type of stretching so if I were you I would try them all and see what works best for your body. I use a mixture of them all during my stretching routines and I always have done.