What Is Stretching and Strengthening Exercises?
It is a group of exercises that help you to recover from injury or prevent it. There are three major types of muscle groups that support your body:
- Extensors: They straighten, lift, extend, and move the thighs away from the body.
- Flexors: They bend the body and move the thighs toward it.
- Obliques and Rotators: They rotate the body and help maintain proper posture and spinal curvature.
These muscles weaken with age, and many are not used enough to perform at their optimal function. Stretching and strengthening exercises can increase muscle strength and improve body function, health, and life quality. When you have been inactive for a long time, it will be challenging to regain your strength. Your joints may become stiff, and your muscles weak due to disuse. The longer you remain inactive, the longer it will take to regain your lost strength and return to active living. To get back on your feet again, you need to put your body back to exercise. The goal is to restore range of motion, strength, endurance, and prevent injury occurrence. Any injury will cause specific muscles to stop working, or stop working correctly, so it will be essential to retrain muscles.
Your therapy will be guided by your practitioner and explicitly designed for you and your issues. This therapy will guide you through exercises to reach your rehab goals taking your health status, age, and activity expectations into account. Without expert guidance, you may end up aggravating or worsening your problem, even if you do not experience pain.
There are many benefits of stretching and strengthening exercises:
- Increased muscle strength and endurance
- Increased range of motion
- Decreased pain
- Decreased swelling and inflammation of joints
- Increased coordination and balance
- Increased mobility
- Improved physical well-being and health
- Enhanced body mechanics and posture
- Decreased stress
- Increased spinal strength and stability
- Improved joint function and flexibility
- Increased function of the ankle, knee, and hip as it relates to balance
- Increased response of the core muscles
This is only a small list of the benefits of exercises for health and rehabilitation. With regular practice, your level of physical ability and fitness will gradually improve. You will find more energy and stamina, and you will receive the additional benefits of improved mental status, appetite, relaxation, and sleep at night.
The Importance of Stretching and Strengthening in Preventing Future Injuries
Adhering to a stretching schedule and seeing a professional for regular stretching sessions can help lengthen your muscles and make daily living activities easier.
The most obvious and established benefit of stretching and strengthening is increasing muscle flexibility and range of motion. A combination of exercise, stretching, and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues helping your health and any natural healing processes the body is performing. Building endurance and training muscle through these techniques are essential factors in injury prevention. Many of today’s complaints of back, neck, shoulder, or discomfort in other areas are related to imbalance and weakness in the postural muscles of the neck, low back, and core.
At Manhattan Wellness Group, the treatment plan initially incorporates stretching and strengthening to promote a pain-free range of motion. As pain stops in the second phase of care, stabilization exercises promote good posture and balance to prevent re-injury. You can also buy Resistance Loop Exercise Bands for home use.
Stretches to Reduce Back Pain
- Lie face down with your body fully extended
- Bend your elbows and put your hands flat on the ground even with your chest
- Gently press down on the floor to raise your head and upper body, keeping your pelvis flat on the floor
- With your arms fully extended, hold this position for approximately 10 seconds
- Position yourself on the floor on hands and knees with your knees just wider than hip-distance apart
- Turn your toes in to touch and push your hips backward, bending your knees
- Once you reach a comfortable seated position, extend your arms forward fully and allow your head to fall forward into a relaxation position
- Lay flat on your back and interlock fingers of both hands under the hamstring of one leg
- Keeping the leg as straight as possible, slowly lift the leg until the tension is felt (you should not feel discomfort, only tension)
- Hold for 10-20 seconds and repeat with the opposite leg