Stretching: 35 stretches to improve flexibility and reduce ...cdn. stretching than you might imagine

Click here to load reader

download Stretching: 35 stretches to improve flexibility and reduce ...cdn. stretching than you might imagine

of 41

  • date post

    27-Oct-2019
  • Category

    Documents

  • view

    52
  • download

    25

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Stretching: 35 stretches to improve flexibility and reduce ...cdn. stretching than you might imagine

  • A Harvard Medical School Special Health Report

    Price: $29

    Stretching 35 stretches to improve flexibility and reduce pain

    In this report: Stretches for overall flexibility

    3 routines to reduce pain and stiffness

    Stretches to improve sports performance

    Stretching guidelines

    Stretching safely

    SPECIAL BONUS SECTION Warm-up routine for workouts

  • Copyright Notice This report is copyrighted by Harvard University and is protected by

    U.S. and international copyright. All rights reserved.

    Here’s what you CAN do

    -

    -

    -

    -

    to others. For more information

    Copyright Clearance Center (CCC)

    Permissions Requests

    Licensing, Bulk, and Corporate Sales

    Harvard Health Publications

    Here’s what you CAN’T do (without prior permission)

    -

    -

    -

    explain what is legal and what is not.

    Harvard Health Publications | Harvard Medical School | 10 Shattuck Street, Second Floor | Boston, MA 02115

  • STRETCHING SPECIAL HEALTH REPORT

    Medical Editor Lauren E. Elson, MD Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Instructor, Harvard Medical School

    Personal Trainer Josie Gardiner Master Trainer and Fitness Consultant

    Executive Editor Anne Underwood

    Writer Francesca Coltrera

    Copy Editor Robin Netherton

    Creative Director Judi Crouse

    Production Manager Lori Wendin

    Photographer Michael Carroll

    Illustrator Scott Leighton

    Published by Harvard Medical School Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief Patrick J. Skerrett, Executive Editor

    In association with

    Belvoir Media Group, LLC, 800 Connecticut Avenue, Nor- walk, CT 06854-1631. Robert Englander, Chairman and CEO; Timothy H. Cole, Executive Vice President, Editorial Director; Philip L. Penny, Chief Operating Officer; Greg

    King, Executive Vice President, Marketing Director; Ron Goldberg, Chief Financial Officer; Tom Canfield, Vice President, Circulation.

    Copyright © 2014 by Harvard University. Permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. Submit reprint requests to:

    Harvard Health Publications Permissions 10 Shattuck St., 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02115 hhp_permissions@hms.harvard.edu 617-432-4714 Fax: 617-432-1506

    Website For the latest information and most up-to-date publication list, visit us online at www.health.harvard.edu.

    Customer Service For all subscription questions or problems (rates, subscribing, address changes, billing problems) call 877-649-9457, send an email to HarvardProd@StrategicFulfillment.com, or write to Harvard Health Publications, P.O. Box 9308, Big Sandy, TX 75755-9308.

    Ordering Special Health Reports Harvard Medical School publishes Special Health Reports on a wide range of topics. To order copies of this or other reports, please see the instructions at the back of this report, or go to our website: www.health.harvard.edu.

    For bulk rates, corporate sales and licensing: Belvoir Media Group Attn: Harvard Health Publications P.O. Box 5656 Norwalk, CT 06856-5656 email: licensing @belvoir.com

    ISBN 978-1-61401-071-5

    The goal of materials provided by Harvard Health Publications is to interpret medical information for the general reader. This report is not intended as a substitute for personal medical advice, which should be obtained directly from a physician.

    Contents Stretching: The basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Why should you stretch? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Types of stretches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 How often—and how much—should you stretch? . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 The anatomy of a stretch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

    Safety first . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 When to check with a doctor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 A team approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Six tips for safe stretches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

    Stretching to ease pain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Arthritis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Back pain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Knee pain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

    Six questions (and answers) about stretching exercises . . 13

    SPECIAL SECTION Warming up for sports with dynamic stretches . . . . . . . . 15

    Static stretches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Four stretching routines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Stretching to improve sports performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

    Floor stretches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

    Floor stretches using a strap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    Seated stretches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

    Standing stretches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

    Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

    Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

  • Harvard Health Publications | Harvard Medical School | 10 Shattuck Street, Second Floor | Boston, MA 02115

    Dear Reader,

    Be flexible.

    That two-word philosophy makes just as much sense whether you’re craning your neck to see cars in the lane behind you, working on your golf swing, lifting a laundry basket, or trying to ease muscle kinks sparked by hours behind a desk. Virtually every activity you do relies on ease of motion.

    Stretching can help in numerous ways. It can relieve back pain, stiff necks, and sore knees when tight muscles are to blame. If you’re a runner, a tennis player, a golfer, a hiker, or a biker, the right stretching program can set you on a path toward better performance. And as you age, it can help keep you active and flexible, making it easier to accomplish innumerable everyday tasks involving walking, climbing stairs, or reaching. Equally important, it may also help you prevent life-altering falls, since flexibility and a good range of motion can af- fect your balance.

    This report deflates some long-held myths. For example, contrary to popular belief, you should not do static stretches (in which you adopt and hold a position) before you exercise. Rather, you should do these when your muscles are warmed up—say, after 10 minutes on the treadmill or with a type of warm-up called dynamic stretching that increases the flow of blood and oxygen to muscles. (See the Special Section of this report, beginning on page 15, for instructions, or go to www.health.harvard.edu/dynamic-stretches for a video.) Surpris- ingly, rather than readying muscles for sports, static stretches do not improve athletic per- formance, but can actually undercut strength and power, possibly by affecting the ability of the muscle to store and swiftly release energy. Dynamic stretches are a better choice.

    Whether you’re an armchair athlete or a sports enthusiast, we’ve designed a variety of stretching routines to meet your needs. You can do them daily for 10 to 20 minutes to reap optimal results, or just two or three times a week to make progress. Before you plunge in, please check our safety tips (see “Safety first,” page 6).

    Then, get started. You have only your stiffness to lose.

    Lauren E. Elson, M.D. Medical Editor

    Josie Gardiner Master Trainer

    www.health.harvard.edu/dynamic-stretches

  • 2 Stretching www.hea l th .har vard .edu

    Stretching: The basics

    F or all too many Americans, stretching is an after-thought in their physical fitness routines—maybe never even making it onto the to-do list, despite the fact that people’s bodies become less flexible as the years roll by. Or, if individuals do stretch, they often don’t stretch all their muscle groups properly. They may even stretch in ways that could cause injury.

    There is actually much more to know about stretching than you might imagine. This chap- ter examines the rationale for stretching, describes the major types of stretches, explains basic guide- lines for stretching, and delves into the anatomy of a stretch. In later chapters, you’ll find information about stretching to improve sports performance and to ease certain types of pain. And, of course, you’ll find our stretching routines, along with instructions for each stretch. Whether you’re hopi