Fitness Tip of the Week #16 Stretching for True Range of Motion

A few weeks back in a tip on stretching we wanted to make sure you hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds or more. We talked a bit about the physiology behind muscles and the nervous system and how they play a role in flexibility. To go along with this last post, I would like to give you another tip for your stretches that is essential to getting the most out of your flexibility routines.


When you are stretching, you need to be sure that you are contracting the antagonist muscles to the ones you are lengthening in order to make the stretch functional and fully lengthen out the fibers of the muscle you’re attempting to stretch. The antagonist is the muscle that does to opposite function of a certain muscle.

IMG_1990A good example of this is the standing quad stretch. The most overlooked component of most stretches, and especially ones like this, is the contraction of the antagonist. In the standing quad, the muscles of the front of your leg, the quadriceps, are being lengthened. In order to ensure you are really getting the full benefits of the stretch, you must make sure you are flexing the glutes and hamstrings of that leg in order to push the hip forward.

Doing this makes it a more functional move, and helps develop greater range of motion in your joints as well as flexibility in your muscles.

Loren Sheets

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