Osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy has decided to give us his Top 5 Tips For Stretching.  The reason he chose this topic is because many of clients will perform some form of stretching on a semi regular (daily to a few times per week) basis.  Typically when he asks them to demonstrate the stretch and tell him why and how they are doing the stretch, there is always some subtle ways to improve the stretch and therefore make it more effective or functional for the client.

Top 5 Tips For Stretching

  1. When performing a stretch, make sure you engage the stretch slowly.  Whilst there is a lot of merit to a more dynamic or ballistic stretch, often these should only be performed once the individual has been educated and shown how to perform these.  Engaging a stretch too quickly without preparing properly may result in some possible neural irritation or discomfort.
  2. When performing a static stretch.  Try and hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds – 40 seconds.  Whilst I don’t have any research at hand to support my thought process here.  I often ask a client to hold a stretch for this time so that they can get a good feeling as to what it feels like to be in the stretch and find that stretch feeling.
  3. Avoid stretching or reassess how you are stretching if you feel pain. Either the body isn’t ready or wanting to stretch or it is being performed incorrectly.
  4. Not all muscles need stretching. A lot of people, often those people who are particular mobile like to really stretch out at the end ranges of movement.  I would say that if the muscle isn’t tight and short.  Then don’t stretch it.
  5. Try varying the stretch to make it more 3 dimensional / tri planar.  I will give you an example.  When performing a hamstring stretch the individual will usually place their leg on a chair/table and then anteriorly tilt the pelvis to stretch the hamstring.  I would ask the client to try stretching the hamstring in a  variety of other ways i.e. try pre positioning the foot so that it is either in a position of relative internal or external rotation.  The other option is to vary the position of the trunk when performing this stretch. That could mean rotating, side bending or flexing the trunk when performing a hamstring stretch.

Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD leading Osteopathy clinics.  At the clinic we treat a wide range of clients, ranging from the office worker, exercise enthusiast to athlete.  We have 3 experienced osteopaths working across both of the clinics.

The Melbourne City CBD clinic is  located at 29 Somerset Place (basement), close to the corner of Elizabeth St and Little Bourke in the Melbourne City CBD. Our premises adjoin the Jon Weller Personal Training Studio, a fully-equipped training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

The Docklands clinic is located at 717 Bourke St (Ground Floor), beneath the Channel 9 building near the walkway from Southern Cross Train Station to Etihad Stadium.  Our premises adjoin Pilates on Bourke, a fully-equipped pilates and yoga training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials, pilates or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

To speak to an Osteopath or book an appointment at Principle Four Osteopathy, please book online or call 03 9670 9290.