Complete Pediatric, Family, and Athletic Health Centre

Stretching- The Benefits and Why You Should Do It!

Stretching is a component of an exercise routine that may be overlooked. However, stretching is a great tool to use for rehabilitation and injury prevention.


  1. Increase joint range of motion
  2. Increase blood flow and circulation
  3. Decrease risk of injuries
  4. Increase physical performance
  5. Helps your muscles work more effectively
  6. Improve flexibility

Our therapists here at DHT use stretching as part of their homecare and remedial exercise routines. It is used as a way to loosen up muscle restrictions, reduce pain and increase range of motion.

There are different types of stretches you can use. You would choose these stretches according to your limitations or the exercise you will be performing.

  1. Static- A static stretch is one where you would hold a stretch for a set amount of time and repeat a couple times over. For example, performing a static quadriceps stretch, holding for 30 seconds and repeating three times.
  2. Dynamic- This is a type of stretch that incorporates movement. It is a great way to warm up your tissues all while incorporating movement from your sport or specific physical activity. For example, ‘High Knees’ as you walk down a soccer field.
  3. Ballistic- High intensity athletes use this stretching technique. It is a technique used by athletes to wake up and stimulate their muscles. For example, the sprinting athletes bouncing up and down prior to their race.
  4. PNF- There are many types of PNF stretching, the most common being the ‘Contract-Relax’. Most often, your therapist will help you execute a PNF stretch. The main objecting is to contract the muscle in its stretch for a set period of time in order to increase the length of the muscle. This is an effective way to lengthen the muscle in a short period of time.

Stretching is a great component to start to use, but it is important to know how to stretch before beginning. Warm up before you stretch, it is best to perform static stretching once your exercise is complete. You can also use a dynamic stretch in your warm up to help warm up your muscles with a subtle stretch. When you are stretching, don’t strive for pain. Although you will feel tension during the stretch, feeling pain means that you have pushed too far and you should pull back a little. Be sure to hold your stretch according to certain parameters (30 second hold, repeat three times) and incorporate stretching into a daily routine. Lastly, focus on the large muscle groups and make them specific to your exercises or rehabilitation goals.

Hamstring Stretch
Hamstring Stretch
Quadricep Stretch
Biceps Stretch
Biceps Stretch



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