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Stretching can enhance your range of motion, but can also cause injury.
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Stretching before getting into a heavy-duty game of sports, dancing a ballet or going for a big run seems like a great idea to warm up muscles and slowly elevate the heart rate. In many cases, stretching is also an important part of a cool down after an aerobic workout, staving off soreness and increasing flexibility. However, there are several types of stretches and distinct disadvantages that accompany the possible benefits of each kind of stretch.
Dynamic stretches for athletes entail moving the body in ways that simulate the movements you do on the field performing the sport. Many athletes use dynamic stretches to warm up before performing their sport or activity to enable them to jump higher, run faster and perform at their peak. The disadvantage of dynamic stretches is the risk of injury is increased if they are performed in a hurry. Doing dynamic stretches without completing the motion properly can cause muscle tears or sprains. Another disadvantage of dynamic stretches is that they do not improve flexibility the way traditional stretches do.
Ballistic stretches involve bouncing and swinging. Ballet dancers do many ballistic stretches in the course of dancing. Ballistic stretches can be overdone, causing the tendons or connective tissue that joins the muscles to become injured. If you do ballistic stretches without properly warming up your muscles, the bouncing could cause a tear, a sprain or soreness.
Static stretches create tiny tears in the muscles that elongate as they heal, making the body more flexible. Static stretches produce the maximum amount of flexibility; however, they need to be done regularly to see results. If you stop static stretches for a period of time, your body reverts back to the way it was before you started a stretching routine. Another disadvantage of static stretches is that the вЂњreach and holdвЂќ technique of stretching causes muscles to tense up, which may negate the positive benefits. You can also stretch a muscle too far, too fast and cause injury.
Active Isolated Stretching
Active isolated stretching targets key muscles for a short period of time - less than two seconds. The disadvantage of AIS is that you must be totally focused on the task at hand and trained very well to isolate the correct muscles. If you hold the stretch for longer than two seconds, you trigger the muscle to contract, negating the benefit of the stretch and possible causing trauma or injury.