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How to Stretch Properly: Moves to Avoid

A lot of "how to stretch" or proper stretching technique is all about steady, smooth moves in a property limited range of motion. In general, you want to avoid any movements that strain your body's particular potential by expanding outside of a comfortable range of motion. You also want to avoid stretching positions that throw the body off balance or lend themselves to excessive movements, such as plunging or excessive leg extensions.

Here are some specific stretches that you may want to avoid according to your current range of motion limitations.

Fence-Standing or Extended Leg Stretch

This kind of stretch involves throwing a leg up onto an adjacent prop, such as a fence. This can often cause excessive strain on tendons or muscles in the back of the leg. This is a prime example of a stretch that, improperly executed, can really hurt. Think about this before including this kind of stretch in your running warm-up or other activity.

Sit-ups and Lower Back Strain

Although this has been a traditional fitness activity, situps can put a lot of strain on the lower back, the neck or the tailbone. Evaluate whether this activity is right for your stretching session. You can substitute other kinds of stretching for the classic sit-ups and make things easier on these parts of your body. One way is to use bio foam rollers that support the stretches you're practicing.

Upside down Stretches: Headstands and Lying Leg Extensions

The lying leg extension, sometimes known as a plough, can also be stressor for the lower back. Other similar positions, such as the headstand, invert the body in ways that can cause specific kinds of pain. Think about whether or not your body type can accommodate these upside down types of stretches.

Knee Vulnerability with Squats and Lunges

Some types of classic squat stretches can put a lot of pressure on the ligaments in the knees and ankles, and also on some tendons. You may be able to notice some minor pain or discomfort associated with a full squat. Likewise, according to body type and weight, one legged lunges can really strain the knee. Cut these out of your routine if you notice any pain associated with them.

Wrist Flexor, Extensor Stretches and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Some types of stretches that put pressure on the wrists can exacerbate carpal tunnel. If you are feeling the effects of this kind of overuse, drop stretches where the body rests on the wrists, such as seated raises. Avoid any stretching where your arms are carrying most of your weight, as these tend to fall into the category of wrist flexor and extensor activities.

Evaluating Stretches Individually

As some fitness trainers point out, there generally isn't such a thing as a good or bad stretch. The key is in adapting a stretch to your particular capacity and find a range of motion that works. However, some of the above can be more dangerous to some kinds of individuals. Always consult a trained professional if you experience pain related to any kind of stretching. Good chiropractic consultation should result in a stretching program that can help you beat pain, not one that will add to your burden.

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