There are two kinds of stretching: passive and dynamic. Passive stretching is what we do when we put our foot up against the wall to stretch out the hamstrings or something similar to that. Dynamic is when you add movement such as swinging your arms back and forth. These days there is a lot of buzz about dynamic stretching and how it can be essential for your workout. That said, there are still many benefits to passive style. Here are just a few of the most important ones.
1) Safely Increase Flexibility
Try this right now. Get up and touch your toes. Having difficulty? Everybody knows the importance of flexibility, but building it up the right way can be challenging. Stretching helps gain flexibility and endurance. Done incorrectly, you can only injure yourself. With passive stretching you build your flexibility over time so that before you know it you can be doing backbends and all kinds of yoga super movies.
2) Great Cool-Down Method
After some heavy cardio, the first thing most of us want to do is to grab that chair or just lie down. Unfortunately, if you do that, the lactic acid in your muscles will build up and you will suffer from it. There are many benefits of stretching after a workout. Passive stretching is a great way to cool down easily because you are not challenging yourself to extra laps around the track, just slowing your breathing and working out the kinks ensuring that you recover quickly.
3) Loosen Up
Tension can be a problem for us all. Before you start your stretch, warm up a little. Do some jumping jacks, some jogging in place, whatever you like. From here, start passive stretching and you will be ready for whatever workout that you are trying to get the hang of.
4) Easy to Learn
More advanced dynamic stretches require a little practice and supervision before you get it right. On the other hand, you can probably already think of a passive stretch for any part of your body just off the top of your head!
5) Great for Tension
These days, we stare at screens for hours on end. Our breaks from typing on the computer are browsing Facebook or watching YouTube videos. A great way to get rid of the bent neck position and strained eyes is to do some neck rolls and other stretches that take your eyes away from the screen and out towards the world. Just remember the 20-20-20 rule. For every twenty minutes, you look at the computer, stretch out, and stare at the something twenty feet away for twenty seconds.
Take it to the Next Level
These basics are a great way to keep limber. But if you really want to improve your flexibility, coordination and recovery time, you need a little help. Professionals can take your game to the next level. This is why we see athletes working with trainers on the sidelines to truly get that deep stretch. This allows you more versatility and more success for whatever your fitness goal.