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How to stretch

There is a lot of literature about stretches, when you should do them, should you do them at all, why you are doing them. After years of reading this research and performing stretches myself and on others I think the real benefit of stretching is about learning to feel your body and how far it moves, the technical name for this is proprioception.

I think there is a place for stretching in proprioceptive learning and in pain relief of muscular type pain. I then think you can continue a stretching type of program for injury prevention, but stretches should likely be avoided directly before activity, especially aggressive sports like football, netball.

Once you are aware of your body’s range of movement, or how far it moves, you can then start a loading or weights type program into that range of movement. I have found that this is the best way to provide rehabilitation programs for muscle problems.

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