Free Essay Focused on Stretching and Flexibility

Published: 2022-06-03
Free Essay Focused on Stretching and Flexibility
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Sport Anatomy
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1001 words
9 min read

Stretching gets construed as the form in which specific tendons or muscles get deliberately flexed so that a comfortable muscle tone can be achieved as a form of physical exercise. Many people opt to keep their body fit depending on their activities, body size, weight et cetera. Therefore, the paper is premised on research about stretching/flexibility.

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Stretching can be performed by both humans and animals as it is an instinctive and natural activity that keeps the body relaxed. However, there are four types of stretching which are; the ballistic stretching, this is the rapid bouncing stretch. In this case, all the body parts move with a specific momentum stretching the muscles to the maximum level. The Static stretching which involves the stretching of one's muscles until the tension is felt gently holds for some time until a person feels the muscle release but in a constant position. Dynamic stretching which is a movement or walking stretch performed through full range motion making one reduce the risks of injury. The proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching which is for a specific job and muscle. In this type of stretching, resistance should be applied to keep the muscle relaxed, so that the body stays fit (Azeem and Rahul, 134).

People have different ways on how to stretch as not all humans can perform all types of stretches comfortably. For example, stretching before exercise often do not reduce one's risk of soreness or injury and, therefore, one should stretch after his or her workout. This is because, after the workout, the muscles are pliable and warm, and can stretch comfortably making one increase flexibility. Also, it is advisable to stretch throughout the day to reduce stress and tension experienced during the day, as it helps to relax the mind and have a comfortable sleep. One may also opt to try the flexibility exercises in all possible ways to maintain the body fitness. The flexibility exercises include the chest stretch, where one takes the arms behind lacing the fingers together, straightens and lifts them slightly until he or she feels a stretch in their chest. There is also the hamstring stretch in which while standing, one takes one leg in front and rests on the heel, a tip from the hips with a flat back until he or she feels a stretch in the back of the legs. There is also the triceps stretch whereby one takes one arm straight up bending the elbow, taking a hand behind the head, and then pulling on the elbow with the other hand until they feel a stretch behind the arm.

Equally notable, there is the shoulder stretch in which the right arm is taken straight across the chest in a way that the fingers are pointing the left wall, then using the left hand pull the arm making the shoulder to stretch (Cheung, n.p). Also, there is the hip stretch where one lays on the floor, crosses right foot over left knee, placing the hands behind the left thigh then pulling the leg in keeping the upper part of the body relaxed.

Stretching or flexibility also comes with its benefits. It does not just help one get most of his or her workouts but can also make one feel better at their age as they become more energetic, active and younger. It also helps to lower back pain, promote the repair of muscles, aid in pain-free movement, increase nutrients and blood circulation to the tissues. With all these, stretching must also have its disadvantages to the people practicing it, and here are some of the disadvantages; Many athletes prefer dynamic stretches during warming up before their sports activities, but the risk of injury is increased if the stretch is performed in a hurry. This is because dynamic stretching motion needs to be completed and if not, can lead to muscle sprains or tears. It also does not improve flexibility as compared to the traditional stretches. Ballet dancers often do ballistic stretching and can at times overdo it causing the connective tissues or the tendons joining the muscles become injured. If one does ballistic stretching without warming up the muscles properly, the frequent bouncing can cause a sprain, tear or soreness. For the body to be more flexible, static stretches must create tears in the muscles which elongate in the process of healing. If one stops, the body reverts to the way it was which might be painful (Scott, n.p). It is also worthwhile to note that in doing the static stretching, there is the reach and hold technique which causes the muscles to tense up, negating the positive benefits because if one stretches too fast and too far can cause an injury. However, the dodgy specifics should also be considered during active stretching, and one must allow the muscles to adapt according to the required range, but there is no standard time. This is because each stretch varies with the individual's flexibility and for every stretch, one is forced to strike a balance between doing too much, which is risky and doing too little that wastes time.


In summary, both humans and animals can do stretching to keep their bodies fit and relaxed. There are also four types of stretching which include the static, ballistic, dynamic and the proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation with each having it specific position and way of practicing. One should stretch after his or her workout to reduce chances of injuries. There are also the flexibility exercises which includes the chest stretch, shoulder and hip stretch et cetera. Furthermore, stretching comes with both benefits and disadvantages which included aiding in pain-free movement and the risk of injury respectively to name but a few.

Work cited

Azeem, Zafar, and Rahul Sharma. "Comparison of dynamic and static stretching on dynamic balance performance in recreational football players." Saudi Journal of Sports Medicine 14.2 (2014): 134.

Cheung, Yan Ho. "Effect of foam roller and static stretch on hamstring flexibility." (2015).

Scott, William. "Body stretching assembly." U.S. Patent No. 9,326,908. 3 May 2016.

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