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Are You Doing Your Stretches Wrong? Maybe You are Overcompensating!

Woman stretchingWorkouts and stretches are great and all, but if done chaotically, without full focus and proper posture, you might just find yourself injured or imbalanced. If that’s the case, your body might be overcompensating with stronger muscles and letting the weaker ones get off easy. But, is there a way to tell if your stronger muscles are overcompensating before a serious injury occurs?

There’s more to stretching than just pulling on a tight or aching muscle.

How many of you are familiar with the following tips or statements regarding stretching?

  • You should always stretch before a workout
  • Everyone should do the same type of stretch
  • You should hold a stretch for at least 15 seconds
  • You can never overstretch
  • Stretching will prevent injury
  • You should feel some discomfort when stretching
  • Stretching lengthens your muscles and ligaments

Most of these are MYTHS, for most part!!

Here are a few tips to detect that your muscles are overcompensating!

Chronic tightness or soreness: If a muscle is working overtime, it’s going to be tight. Hamstrings commonly do the work of the glutes and are notoriously problematic.” Take your time

Forever fatigued: Does your body fatigue quickly while you are working out? You could be overcompensating!

How to prevent muscle overcompensation?

It all comes down to awareness and posture. Strengthening smaller muscles requires a lot of attention to detail. They’re much harder to target than the larger muscles that surround them, because the larger muscles naturally pick up a lot of the work.

To ensure that they don’t get neglected in favor of the larger, stronger muscles in the body, it’s important to pay attention to your form. One of the most effective ways to tell if larger muscles are starting to overcompensate, is by double checking your form during every exercise. LOOK in the MIRROR.

There are many types of stretches, but the most common type prescribed to patients is static stretching.

Static stretching is one of the safest ways to stretch. It involves pulling the target muscle until you feel a gentle stretch, then you’ll hold the position for a few breaths. Static stretches shouldn’t cause pain and are mostly for enhancing a person’s flexibility.

Reach out to your provider if you think you are overcompensating with your stretch routine!

Dr. Lindsay Daniels

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