Best Time To Stretch Lower Back
What is the best time to stretch your lower back for maximum benefit? Should you stretch first thing in the
morning after getting out of bed? Before jogging or exercising? How
about stretching after your run, workout or even during your strength
Here Is The Best Time To Stretch
The best time to stretch is when you
have the time to do it. We all can find the time. So not having the
time to stretch is not a good excuse for not stretching. The time of
the day isn't important as long as the muscles are prepped for the
stretch by properly warming them up. You can warm them up by:
- Walking briskly for 12-15 minutes.
- Performing exercises such a
squats, leg presses or leg curls.
First understand that the purpose of
any stretch is to elongate the muscles to a normal length if they are
indeed hypertonic or too tight. This will permit normal range of
motion providing there are no other conditions of the bones or joints
present that would otherwise impede or restrict joint motion.
Do not stretch just for the sake of
stretching. If the muscles are functioning normally and you already
have normal range of motion, stretching could very well be harmful.
Stretching beyond normal will create excess joint play or
hyper-mobility and this will only predispose you to sprains and
acceleration of joint degeneration due to abnormal tissue stress.
There is also research that shows stretching may be detrimental to performance, especially where strength is needed.
When reduced range of motion is evident
and it is known that stretching will improve it to a more normal
state, then you should choose targeted stretches that best accomplish
Consider This Stretching Information
Here are some things to consider when deciding what is the best time to stretch for your lower back:
- If pain is experienced with any
stretch, or there is an increase in pain beyond the normal
discomfort that can be expected, do not perform that stretch. You
may be causing more trauma to the torn muscle tissue and this will
only result in the formation of more scar tissue and subsequent loss
of stretch ability. There should be a tolerable discomfort felt with
any stretch or you are not really affecting a stretch. Do not
mistake discomfort for pain.
- Never stretch muscles that are in
the acute stage of injury and healing. With the tearing of muscle
fibers there will be bleeding, inflammation and swelling. The body
will attempt to form scar tissue to mend the torn fibers. Stretching
too soon will risk further tearing, bleeding, inflammation, swelling
and the formation of inferior scar tissue. This will only prolong
the acute healing stage, create a greater loss of normal muscle
function, a need for prolonged rehabilitation and a return to normal
muscle lengthening ability.
This acute stage is a minimum of 3
days, so stretching should not be forcefully attempted until
following at least 3 days after injury. In severe cases it may
require a longer period. Be sure to consult with your doctor or
therapists for the okay to stretch following a severe strain.
Following most injuries, while still in the acute stage, motion
should be encouraged as this will accelerate the healing process.
The best form of motion in the acute stage is walking.
- Never stretch a so called “cold”
muscle. By that it is meant that you should not stretch a muscle,
whether injured or not, unless it has been adequately warmed-up
through motion and exercise. A “cold” muscle, one that has not
been active for at least 5 minutes will resist any attempt at
stretching. Stretching with-out a warm-up will risk strain in the
form of micro-trauma. It will also not permit full lengthening and
thus end up being a waste of your time. A warmed-up muscle will be
more pliable and less uncomfortable when stretching. It will also
promote a more lasting stretch result.
If you want to stretch your hamstrings
for example, it is best to do so following a 15 minute brisk walk or
after performing leg exercises such as leg curls, squats or leg
presses., These actions will have increased the muscle activity,
enriched the blood supply, stimulated needed nerve impulses and
naturally elongated the muscles to a great degree. All of this
equals sufficient warm-up to now be able to achieve maximum stretch
and the desired beneficial results..
- Stretching prior to a workout or
sporting event is probably not necessary and may even be
counterproductive. It is probably best to warm-up to prevent injury
by doing a light (low intense) couple of sets with 12 to 15
repetitions. This will do more to prevent muscle strain and injury
prevention than any pre-exercise or pre-event stretch. If the
muscles are warmed-up by performing the motions that the sport or
activities demand they will be normally prepped for proper function.
If you are prone to muscle pulls, the
best pre-exercise/pre-event warm-up is some moderate reps sufficient
to warm-up the muscle tissue followed immediately with some mild
- A good way to warm the muscle
prior to stretching could be the application of moist heat packs
(hydroccollator) or perhaps the us of a jacuzzi or hot tub for about
- A deep myofascial type of massage
prior to stretching can be tried. This is very effective if heat is
used in conjunction with the massage. Post stretching massage may
also offer some longer lasting effects.
- Make sure you are receiving
adequate nutrition. It is a fact that mineral imbalances and
possibly some vitamin and protein deficiencies and imbalances can
cause muscle spasm and hypertonic muscles. Of particular concern are
calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
If you do not schedule a stretching time into your day it will be easy to let it slip by. So follow these suggestions when scheduling your best time to stretch.
Your best time to stretch may be:
- While watching television, viewing the internet.
- When talking on the phone
- While waiting for an appointment.
- While waiting on your spouse
(who is always making you wait).
- Before bedtime.
- During your
exercise workout while resting between sets.
- Immediately after your
Stretching doesn't need to take a lot of time. If you target only those couple muscle that truly need
stretched and not waste your time stretching those muscles that don't
need it then stretching should only take a few extra minutes a day.
> Basic Information on Back Stretching
> A Simple Guide To Stretching
> Low Back Stretching Guide
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