Stretching and osteopathy
Stretching done on a regular basis promotes motor performance, the development of scar tissue after anatomical lesions and the prevention of muscular tears.
Stretching along the axis of the muscle favors the morphogenesis of the conjunctive framework and the reorganizing of newly formed fibers to their correct parallel positioning, which accelerates their return to normal function.
Here is a list of muscle stretches that has been collected from specialized documents and personal experience. These stretches should be done 24 hours after the exercise to encourage healing.
Stretching and aging
Improving and increasing
In adolescence, bone growth will outstrip the constraints on muscles (the lengthening of the bone always precedes the lengthening of the muscle), which explains the stiffness of the young athlete.
The qualitative and quantitative strengthening of muscles therefore becomes indispensable.
To be done on a regular basis
Before and after exercising, outside of training sessions after muscular injury, in the case of stiffness or issues with morphology, stretches must become part of your activity. What seems like a burden must become part of your daily routine.
Stretching done all through one’s life is part of taking care of yourself. When done in an enjoyable way, they can help you maintain your flexibility to help protect your back, tendons and relieve your joints.
Recommendations during stretch
Slow and deep breathing
Inhale deeply through the nose while inflating the stomach (pushing the bellybutton out) and exhale completely through the mouth while pulling in the stomach.
Stretching should be done smoothly for 1 minute and always return to the initial position. A quick release could lead to injury.
Stretching without pain
The threshold of pain lets you know when you have reached the limit of the movement. Do not try to “conquer” by force.
The trapezius and the SCM
- With your left hand over your head, place the fingers of your left hand at the top of your right ear
- Tilt and rotate the head to the left
- Continue until you feel a slight stretching along the neck, behind the ear
- Lower your right hand to your side to increase the leverage
The Trapezius Muscles
- Standing, join your hands together at the base of your skull
- Relax your shoulders
- Pull your chin towards your chest and bring your elbows together
- Apply a downward pressure with the hands
- Stretch your right arm out across your neck
- Push on your right elbow with your left hand
- Breathe and increase the stretch with each breath
The back (1)
- Your knees are slightly bent
- Arms are stretched out and fingers are interlaced
- Tilt your chin slightly
The back (2)
- Grab a chin-up bar over your head
- Leave a space between the hands
- Let yourself hang by your arms
The back (3)
- Stretch your arms out as far in front of you as possible
- Keep your back straight
- Tilt your head
- Lying on your back, stretch out your right leg and bend the left leg to 90 degrees.
- Grab the right knee with the left hand
- Pull the right knee towards the ground
- Do not lift the shoulders off the ground
- Seated, legs stretched out, back straight
- Grab your toes with your hands
- Increase the stretch with each exhale
- Standing, place both forefeet on the step, the heel left hanging
- Keeping the body vertical, push the heels towards the ground
- Exhale while increasing the stretch
- Place two hands on the wall
- Put one leg behind you, the leg in front is bent at the knee
- Press the heel into the ground
- Push into the hands to increase the tension
The obliques muscles
- Stretch your arms out to either side
- Tilt the upper body toward one of the two legs
- Look up
- The back should never be bent (towards the front) or overstretched (towards the back)
- Sit in butterfly position with feet together
- Tuck in the lower back
- Press your hands into your knees
- Bring your chin forward
- Tennis elbow, epicondylitis at the far end of the elbow
- The arm is stretched out in front of you, elbow straightened and the wrist comes back towards you.
- With the other hand, grab the palm by the thumb
- Increase the stretch and the pronation of the wrist.
- Golf elbow, or medial epicondylitis on the inside of the elbow
- Stretch out your arm, straighten the elbow. Point your fingers and fingernails back at yourself
- Grab the palm of that hand with the fingers of your other hand
- Increase the stretch and the supination of the wrist
- Press your hands into the upper part of your chest
- Tilt your head back
- Raise your chin to the sky
- Lean against a wall with one arm extended at shoulder height, fingers spread
- With a straight back and a relaxed shoulder, rotate your upper body
- Exhale to increase the rotation and increase the stretch
- Starting on your knees, hands in behind or on your hips
- Slowly tilt your upper body backwards
- Inhale deeply while inflating the stomach to stretch the abdominals
The hip flexor
- Start in a kneeling lunge
- Slide the knee that’s on the ground as far back as it will go
- Keep your upper body vertical
- Slide your pelvis forwards
- Use a carpet or pad under the knee to protect it from the ground
Osteopathy completes the stretching
Some reasons for consultation can generally be linked to musculoskeletal issues. These problems will limit the usual range of the joint’s movement because of very important muscular contractions.
The release of the muscle, either by passive stretching as illustrated above or by energetic muscular osteopathic techniques are essential for your well-being.
They allow the practitioner to relieve the musculoskeletal issues but also to access and release the joint mechanisms more easily.
Nota Bene: In the case of back pain like lombalgia, lumbago or sciatica, the agonist/antagonist muscle imbalances are produced between the erector muscles of the spine and the hamstrings and gluteal muscles. Don’t hesitate to couple the stretches to optimize the global release as much as possible.
3 different and complementary methods to offer a maximum efficiency :
Rachis et stretching. Education du patient à l’étirement. Michéle Esnault. Masson
Méthode de musculation. Olivier Lafay. Amphora
Anatomie clinique du rachis lombal et sacré Nikolai Bogduk. Elsevier
Guide des étirements du sportif Christophe Geoffroy. Vigot
Jürgen WEINECK, Manuel d’entraînement, 4ème édition, Editions VIGOT.