Risks of Stretching on Your Own
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Risks of Stretching on Your Own

by Stretch Zone

Have you ever asked yourself, “why should I go to stretch therapy near me when I can just stretch on my own?” While people definitely can do this, we always encourage visiting a professional stretch practitioner for even better results. You should also know that self-stretching comes with several risks if you don’t do the move correctly.

So, what is the deal with practitioner-assisted stretching anyway? Let’s go over the risks of self-stretching, the benefits of practitioner-assisted stretching, and why you should go for the latter.

Self-Stretching vs. Practitioner-Assisted Stretching

Self-stretching is exactly what the word implies – stretching your body on your own. Almost everyone does this after working out or doing a physical activity to keep their muscles healthy and prevent post-workout soreness. People may also feel the need to stretch if they experience tightness in certain areas.

Practitioner-assisted stretching is when a trained professional stretches your body for you. It’s significantly different from having a friend or partner pulling your legs for you. Seeing a professional is crucial because they’re experienced and know how to isolate the muscles so you can get the most out of a stretch.

While regular self-stretching can help with flexibility, visiting a stretch practitioner can help you move better. At Stretch Zone, we use a patented strapping system and proprietary stretching techniques that allow you to gain more than just flexibility.  After a session with one of our professionals, you should feel and move much better.

Stretch Zone practitioner performing an assisted stretch on woman

What Could Happen if You Self-Stretch?

We’re sure you’re already aware of the benefits of stretching, but you should also know some of the potential risks if you try to stretch on your own. This is especially important if you have limited flexibility and range of motion or if you’re trying a new move for the first time.

Instead of attempting something on your own, seek guidance from a professional. Below are some of the unfortunate things that could happen if you’re inexperienced and try to self-stretch:

Overstretching

One of the biggest risks of self-stretching is the possibility of overstretching. This happens when the length of the tissue becomes greater than your ability to control it. Overstretched muscles are stretched past the point of their natural elasticity, causing your muscles and joints to appear lax. When this happens, you’re more likely to injure yourself by doing simple tasks like walking or reaching for things.

Overstretching is more common in double-jointed individuals, also known as hypermobility.

Not Stretching Correctly

Too many people can risk stretching incorrectly, especially if they try to do something they’ve never done before. Technique and form are key components to getting the most out of a stretch. You have to position yourself slowly and gradually for the best results and for your safety. Most importantly, you shouldn’t hold your breath during a stretch since it causes your body to tense up.

Some of the other things people could be doing wrong include:

  • Holding a stretch for too long
  • Not holding a stretch long enough
  • Bouncing while stretching
  • Stretching until they feel discomfort
  • Trying to stretch “cold” muscle

Doing the wrong stretch

As you may already know, a person can stretch in many ways. Because of this, you could mistakenly be doing the wrong type of stretch for a certain activity. This can increase your chances of getting an injury, as your muscles were not adequately prepared to handle the stress of the activity.

One of the most common instances of this is when people do static stretches before a physical activity. You’re supposed to warm up with some dynamic stretches, and then you can do static stretches after completing your physical activity.

Can’t Target Certain Areas

No matter how hard you try, some muscle groups are not possible to stretch by yourself. If you’re still feeling sore in some areas even after a full body stretch, it could be because you missed those hard-to-reach areas. Practitioner-assisted stretching can help you target those muscle groups for the relief you need.

Some areas require a little extra help to get deeper into the muscle for added benefits. These include:

  • The quadriceps
  • The glutes
  • The latissimus dorsi
  • Rhomboids
  • Pectoral muscles
  • Psoas

Not Stretching Long Enough

There’s an ongoing debate about how long a person should hold a static stretch. Although the exact timeframe will vary based on your flexibility, 30 seconds is generally a safe spot. If you don’t hold one long enough, it’ll be ineffective.

Doing the Same Stretch

Some individuals believe that one “magic stretch” can eliminate their aches for good, so they keep doing it every day. Not only will you quickly become bored of the same routine, but it’ll stop giving you the benefits as your body becomes used to the same motions.

Some people also only stretch the same part of their body if they have aches. If a certain area is troublesome, you want to give it some extra attention but not all your attention. Not following a full body stretch regimen can cause imbalances, which is a whole other issue!

Benefits of Stretch Therapy with a Practitioner

Stretching does incredible things to your body, but did you know you can take those benefits to a new level? This is where professional practitioner-assisted stretching comes in! There are numerous benefits to this type of stretch therapy we know you’ll enjoy.

Below are some of the few reasons why you should give practitioner-assisted stretching a try:

Reduces Stress

Stretching is also known for its wonderful mental benefits. It’s much easier to relax and feel calmer when your muscles are also relaxed. Practitioner-assisted stretching is an excellent way to help you be in tune with your body and focus on your breathing, all of which are great for busting stress.

Think of a professional stretch session as a way to focus on you and how to make your body feel better than ever before.

Increases Range of Motion

Our goal isn’t simply to make you more “elastic.” A session with a professional stretch practitioner is more about increasing your range of motion. Having a good range of motion is important because it can help with healing and recovery from soft tissue lesions. It also allows you to move further before you feel a stretch, maximizing the benefits.

Our practitioners help you move more easily by “reeducating” the nerve-muscle reflex. We work through the nervous system to help you achieve flexibility that lasts.

Relieves Stiffness

More individuals are living sedentary lifestyles than ever before. People sit a lot at their jobs, during their commutes, and when they’re lounging around the house. Sitting for long periods can cause stiffness as your muscles shorten from becoming overworked and stressed.

Contracting a muscle while it’s at rest is known as resting muscle residual tension, or tonus. The body needs a certain amount to maintain good form and posture, but you create an excess of it when you sit all day. When this happens, it becomes harder to move because of stiff muscles.

An experienced practitioner can help you reestablish an ideal muscle tone to relieve you from stiffness and soreness.

Practitioner stretching a woman

Requires No Effort from You

Arguably, the best part about getting stretched is that you do none of the work but still get all the benefits. The stretch-practitioner guides your body into the stretch, and all you have to do is let them know when you feel like you can’t go any further.

With the Stretch Zone method, you can gradually improve your flexibility and range of motion.

Better Performance

Practitioner-assisted stretching can help with your athletic and overall performance by helping you unlock a greater physical ability. Achieving optimal flexibility can significantly improve how you move and how well you play a sport. Practitioner-assisted stretching has been great for helping people move more efficiently and effortlessly.

In fact, Stretch Zone has helped professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, MBL, and ATP reach their athletic best.

Greater Reaction Time

Did you know that having an open, flexible system can allow you to make natural and instinctual movements with less thought and a faster reaction time? This can significantly help athletes during a game but is also ideal for your daily activities.

Since tightness no longer slows you down, you can have a better reaction time when playing a sport. This can also decrease your chances of injuring yourself.

Spatial Awareness

As we’ve previously mentioned, stretching can help you become more in tune with your body as you discover the areas that need some attention. Practitioner-assisted stretching can help people learn the limitations of their bodies, which allows them to assess the state of their muscles better.

As an athlete, this spatial awareness can also provide you with a sense of self-control and confidence so you can determine your peak performance. Practitioner-assisted stretching is excellent for helping those who may have a deficit in this.

If you do, you might notice some of these signs:

  • Issues navigating through their environment
  • Poor coordination
  • Difficulty throwing or catching objects
  • Poor recognition of personal space

Feel Younger

As you grow older, your body naturally begins to lose some of its range of motion. In fact, most people can start losing flexibility in their 30s, especially if they live a sedentary lifestyle. Stretch therapy with a professional can help you maintain it so you can feel younger even as you age.

People lose flexibility more when they sit a lot because of all the strains and micro-stresses on your muscles begin to form scar tissue over time, which tightens the surrounding tissue. This tightness can restrain your movement and cause you to lose flexibility as you age.

Fortunately, practitioner-assisted stretching can help break up that scar tissue and improve your mobility and posture. Our method allows us to isolate individual muscles, which gives you better results.

How to Know When You Should Try Practitioner-Assisted Stretching

Your body will definitely let you know when it needs a good stretch! Most people resort to stretching once they feel some discomfort, but they might not feel any better after trying to stretch it themselves. If you notice any of the following, it might indicate that you should see a professional for some stretch therapy:

  • Low energy levels
  • Aching muscles
  • Stress
  • Poor posture
  • Frequent headaches
  • Pulled muscles

What is the Stretch Zone Method?

At Stretch Zone, we use a particular method to help increase your range of motion gradually. This involves using patented equipment to help position, stabilize, isolate, and manipulate certain muscles. This specific method allows us to use neuromuscular behavior to help you get all the benefits your body needs during a stretch.

The Stretch Zone method works by adjusting the stretch reflex, gradually increasing your active range of motion. It doesn’t pull your muscles too forcefully or quickly, which is how most people get injured. It’s ideal for those who want to improve or maintain their range of motion to help them move better.

The Stretch Zone method also serves as a safeguard against injury. It allows you to maintain the integrity of your connective tissue and muscle. When stretch therapy is done properly, you should be able to move without excessive tension and decrease resistance in extended muscles.

Final Thoughts

While self-stretching isn’t necessarily bad, you’ll find that you see more benefits when you visit a professional for stretch therapy. Practitioner-assisted stretching allows you to target harder muscle groups while gradually increasing your flexibility to reduce your chances of getting an injury.

Practitioner-assisted stretching can benefit athletes and non-athletes equally by helping them move and feel better. Simply put, you cannot achieve all the same things from stretching on your own as you would if you were to go to a professional.

Another incredible benefit is that you have someone who is willing to give you expert advice on what you should be doing to maintain those advantages for a long time.

Why not give practitioner-assisted a shot and see what you can get from it!

Are You Interested in Learning More About Stretch Therapy Near You?

Stretch therapy can benefit you in several ways, and you’ll always get the maximum benefits when you do it with a trained practitioner. Stretch Zone has been decreasing people’s aches while boosting their energy levels for a long time, and we know it’ll make a difference in your life too.

First-timers can try us for free by booking a 30-minute stretch session at their nearest location. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have about us or our Stretch Zone method!

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