Do You Stretch?
So often in my massage therapy practise I send clients home with “homecare”.
Homecare is simple stretches and strengthening exercises that target the specific problems we have dealt with in the treatment. When I ask if they stretch, the all to common answer is “I work out” or “I go for walks”. I have to admit those are great things and your body will thank you for it however, I ask again….”do you stretch?”
According to the dictionary Stretch is defined as this: to straighten or extend one’s body or a part of one’s body to its full length, so as to tighten one’s muscles or in order to reach something.
Synonyms include, straighten and extend.
Stretching typically involves moving muscles in a passive movement for a length of time to increase the flexibility of the muscle. It should never be a painful movement. There are different ways in which a stretch can be performed and I will touch base on that in another article. Right now want to differentiate between stretching and strengthening.
Strengthening a muscle, is when there is a level of resistance that causes the muscle to contract. Typically, its done with some sort of weight whether its body weight from a push up or free weights. This then causes the muscle to contract engaging the muscular fibres, creating growth of the muscle making it strong.
To stretch is to make long, to strengthen is to make strong
To Sum it up. This is a very simplified version of what the difference is between stretching and strengthening. I hope that helps with the understanding of homecare. I like giving out both strengthening and stretching exercises as homecare. So often when a muscle is tight and needs a good stretch, another muscle may be weak and need strengthening. Doing your assigned homecare helps add to the benefit and prolong the effectiveness of the treatment you received.