With any task, there comes practice and preparation. In music, for example, a violinist is advised to practice fundamental scales before tackling a concerto. Similarly in sports, stretching has always been advised before getting deeper into physical activity. However, many people overlook the importance of stretching and cut corners around the preparation in order to save time. To sports medicine surgeons in Joplin, Missouri, however, stretching is vital to keeping your muscles healthy. To help clear things up, here are some of the most common misconceptions you might approach when it comes to stretching:
It’s Not Real Exercise
It’s easy to consider stretching as just a minor task in comparison to the real work you might be trying to accomplish, but for all intents and purposes, stretching is a physical exercise like anything else. Rather than strengthening muscles, stretching is used to stimulate them in a way to boost flexibility and range of motion.
It’s Purely Physical
While it does have its physical benefits on your physical health, stretching is also an effective mental exercise. Whether it’s right after you wake up in the morning or right before a big game, stretching helps get your mind set on the goal ahead of you.
It’s Too Simple
If you want to skip stretching because it seems too rudimentary of a task, you might be overlooking some key things about stretching. For example, stretching isn’t a general exercise. In fact, there are many types of stretching for different tasks. Here are the most common:
- Ballistic stretching
- Static stretching
- Dynamic stretching
- Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (or PNF stretching)
- Self-myofascial release (or SMF stretching)
In other words, stretching is obviously not as rudimentary as you might see it, especially if you consider the plethora of research behind it and the massive following of professionals that back it. Stretching has proved its importance in many fields and professions from little league baseball coaches to adult reconstructive surgeons.
At the end of the day, the goal of stretching is not to waste your time and keep you from really getting work done. It is used to prepare your body for top performance and to keep you in good shape when you really need it, whether it’s in the gym or on the field. If you’re ever in doubt about the usefulness of stretching, just take it from the sports medicine surgeons in Joplin, Missouri and realize the reality of stretching in your life.