Body Sense

SPRING | 2017

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8 Body Sense Olympic athletes, sedentary office workers, and chronic-pain patients can all enhance the effects of massage by stretching between sessions. When done as part of a health-care regimen, massage and stretching increase joint flexibility and relax overused muscles. Get the most out of stretching, and your next massage, by following these stretching ABCs. Awareness. Stay aware of sensations when you stretch. You are more likely to pull a muscle if your awareness is somewhere other than on your body. Breathe. Holding your breath is counterproductive. Emphasize your exhale to get a better stretch. Connective tissue includes ligaments, tendons, and fascia. We think stretching is good for our muscles, but our connective tissues benefit just as much. The best stretches for connective tissue are fluid and elastic. Dynamic stretching is a new way to warm up. It is based on research showing that using traditional, static stretches before exercise can actually impede athletic performance. Dynamic movements are more effective than static stretch holds in improving performance and muscle elasticity. Ease into and out of a stretch several times before holding it. This softens The ABCs of Effective Stretching Combining Massage and Stretching Can Increase Joint Flexibility and Relax Overused Muscles By Anita Boser

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