» Blog
» Weekly Cup of Joe - Episode #63 – Static Stretchingg
Weekly Cup of Joe - Episode #63 – Static Stretchingg

Read the transcript for this video:

Good morning and welcome to your Weekly Cup of Joe. My name is Joe King. I'm the owner of Physical Therapy Advantage in North Aurora. I'm here for our second part of the two-part episode tutorial on dynamic and passive stretching. So last week we talked about Dynamic stretching, and this week we're going to talk about Static stretching. And as I said, they're both equally good. Of course, I'm biased, I'm a PT, but knowing that dynamic stretching is particularly beneficial and used before an activity to warm up and loosen. And then Static stretching is used particularly after you've exercised or actually after you've worked out. So static stretching is prolonged holds to help elongate, loosen, and stretch out tight muscle tissue. So, its passive stretching though, so you're just holding that stretch whether somebody else is holding it for you or you're holding yourself, but you're trying to keep that muscle group loose and passive as you're trying to stretch it out.

We're going to do some demonstration of a few of them here in a second, but you want to make sure that you're going to hold those stretches for at least twenty seconds. So twenty-plus seconds on each stretch. And you're going to want to do it at least three times per side, maybe four times per side. So the longer, the better if you can, depending on the time that you have. The big part here is when you're doing static stretching, you want to make sure that it's nice, easy stretches. You want to make sure there's no pain, you want to make sure you're deep breathing, you want to make sure you're relaxing. You don't want to take that muscle tissue to a point where you're shaking--- that's not good or having lots of pain. You may feel a little soreness, which is okay, but we don't want you to have pain. Muscle tissue is like a rubber band, so if you're stretching it out and you have some tight muscle tissue where it's overlapping and things are shortened, it should be here, but it's here and it's tight. And as you start to stretch it and you're going to a point and all of a sudden you're shaking, and you're going too far or it's hurting, all you're going to do is have a rebound effect and it's going to tighten up even more. It's going to lock back up. Instead of it being back out here, now it's going to take some time from tight tissue to get back to normal tissue. It may take you months to get that far, so that's okay, but just know consistency is the big key here.

One of the big things you want to do is that it's going to take a little bit longer and one of the big things I should say that you should know, is that you only take five, maybe ten minutes for the dynamic stretching beforehand, the static may take you about fifteen or twenty minutes depending on how many stretches you're doing, how many body parts that is. So it takes a little bit longer and it's done after the exercise. And the reason it's done after the exercise is that you've already warmed up. You've got blood flow of the area, you've used it, you've got even more blood flow to the area, now that tissue should be fairly loose and you have a much better opportunity to actually physiologically change and lengthen/elongate that tight muscle tissue. So hopefully now you can physiologically change and get it stretched out over the course of time and doing this consistently on a daily basis over the course of time. It gets better week by week, month by month, and then hopefully by Christmas, you'll be able to do the splits if that's your goal. I'm just kidding you, I'm not saying you're going to be able to do the splits, but it just takes a lot of time and being consistent to get that overall balance of flexibility that you're looking for.

As with dynamic stretching, you have the option of using a foam roll. So you can take a lovely foam roll and you can do some foam rolling before you stretch statically. So you've done your activity, you can foam roll and then do some more stretching afterwards or not do some more, do stretching afterwards, or you could stretch and then do some foam roll afterwards if you wanted to. People have personal preferences, so you have to just try it yourself. I'm a huge fan of hitting all your muscle groups after you've worked out. So you just do a full body stretch, I'm really a huge advocate on that, but you can also just stretch out the body parts that you worked out. So if you just did at the gym a leg workout, if you just want to stretch out your legs and not your upper body, that's fine. Or if you just did an upper body workout and so after your workout, you want to just stretch out your arms and your upper body, that's fine and you don't do your legs, whatever you want to do, but as long as you're consistent with that over the course of time. One of the other things that you may want to do is that doing some stretching before you go to bed, it's a huge benefit. I think for most people. You've used your muscles all day long from work or sitting or whatever the case may be, and you're all nice and tight. So if you haven't worked out, even if you worked out in the morning, you stretched out, you may want to do a few stretches even before you go to bed, just to help relax, loosen those muscles up, sleep a little bit better, wake up, I'll feeling a little bit looser. So give that a thought as well. So I'm going to show you a couple stretches here. You can use a strap, which I'm going to use for a couple of them, so you have a strap, this one has multiple loops in it. It's about six-foot long or so, but there's different stretching straps, you can go online and look for it, you can use a dog leash, you can use a TheraBand or an exercise band that you have an old one that's a little bit longer, you can use towels, sheets, rope. Lots of people have used lots of different things over the course of the year.

So we're going to stretch out the quads first. So we’re putting the strap around my foot, going to be laying down, and then I'm just going to be pulling on that strap until I feel a pull on the front part of my thigh. Hopefully, no pressure in my knee or no pressure on my back, but just a good healthy stretch in the front of my thigh. And I'll hold that for twenty seconds or more, let it relax, and do that a few times on each leg and switch. Now I'm also going to do a hamstring stretcher, now I'm going to stretch out the back of the leg. So I'm going to put my handy dandy strap on around my foot again, and now I'm going to keep my leg as straight as I can. I don't have to have it locked out straight-straight, but straight as I feel comfortable. And I'm going to use the strap and use my arms to pull the leg up until it hit a nice stretch. So I may feel it here, I may feel my butt, I may feel it in the back of my knee, or I may feel it even in my calf. Wherever your tight is, where you're going to feel it. Once again, deep breathing, relaxing, no pain, no leg shaking and pulsing. Deep breathing, just let that go 20, 30 seconds, three to four times on each leg.

The last one we're going to do is we're going to stretch out the Piriformis, which is a hip rotator, maybe you have heard of Piriformis Syndrome connected with Sciatica and everything else like that. People's rotators like moving in and out will get very tight, we don't typically stretch those out very easily on a regular basis. So what you end up doing is you cross your legs, laying down both knees bent, and you cross your legs, and then you're going to take two hands crossed, and then you're going to pull your leg across the body. You can pull more towards your shoulder, chest area, you can move more towards your hips, wherever, and you're going to feel it wherever you're tight, where you're more on the knee, middle of your thigh, leg down here, into your butt, into your low back. Wherever you're tight is, where you're going to feel it. You may feel a little pinching in the front, so you may have to change that angle to avoid that pinch as well. Deep breathing, relaxing, no pain. 20 to 30 seconds, three times, four times on each side. All right, fantastic!

If you have any questions about static stretching or dynamic stretching like we talked about last week, the differences, whatever it may be, or if you want to come in and get taught a home stretching program, we can definitely do that for you as well! (630) 892-8003 is a number to call, if you have questions about the static or dynamic stretching or any other questions regarding health, PT related, doesn't really matter. We are here for you as a resource for the community. Thank you so much for paying attention this week. Hope it's beneficial for you and we'll see you next week for your Weekly Cup of Joe! Bye.


COVID-19 Update: Due to the continued COVID-19 concerns we wanted to update everyone on our current policies. We are still considered to be an essential healthcare provider, but as of January 1, 2023...