Fitness Tip: Get a better stretch

If you want to maximize your stretching program, one way is to start implementing the principal of reciprocal inhibition (RI). RI is when you contract the opposite muscle to the target muscle you are stretching. For example, while stretching your hamstrings in the back of your thigh, contract your quads on the front of your thigh. By doing this, it forces the target muscle to relax resulting in a more productive stretch of the muscle and surrounding soft tissues. It is also important to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds to increase overall flexibility.

Luke Geer, PT, DPT

The Memorial Hospital Physical Therapy Department

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