We all know we should do more static stretching. Some of us actually do it, some don’t. But what do we generally do when comes the time to stretch? Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, right? I’m assuming that this is what most people do, and what most coaches/trainers recommend.
But when we really do need to lengthen a specific muscle group that has been shortened over time (e.g. hip flexors from too much sitting) stretching 30 seconds every day is not gonna cut it; you need much more than that to overcome the effect of spending hours a day with some muscles in a shortened position. Stretching multiple times a day is one option. But the other option I really like is the long duration stretches. You can use any stretching you like for a muscle that’s especially short and put it on a 5 minute stretch at least once a day. The prolonged position of the stretch will cause the muscle to add more sarcomeres in series, therefore giving a more “permanent” effect to the stretch you just did.
Lon duration stretches is something I really like with hockey players of spend lots of of time in the skating position throughout their season and for people who work at a desk all day and sit too much. Here’s my favorite stretch to use for long duration stretch for both of these folks:
Hip flexor stretches are just great to hold for 5 minutes for anyone who has short hip flexors. This is something we use a lot at Endeavor with our athletes and general members as well.
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