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  • Writer's pictureJess Mcdonald

Stretch Or Strength

Updated: Jul 7

What does my body need?

At Move Sports Physiotherapy & Pilates in Geelong, this is a question we get asked a lot. So which one should you do?

You may be wondering does stretching increase the length of your muscles. The short answer is no. People with chronically tight muscles may stretch and stretch in an attempt to improve their muscle length and feel like they are seeing slight improvement – and for a good reason.

Do you know static stretching does not increase the length of our muscles? Well, what does static stretching do?

It CAN improve the range of motion around a joint, but it does not do so by changing the extensibility or stiffness of a muscle. It does so by increasing your tolerance to the uncomfortable stretch sensation.

If my muscles feel tight, should I stretch or strengthen them?

Muscles that feel tight are generally short and weak.

We can change this by completing Eccentric strengthening, which has been proven to increase muscle fascicle length within our muscles and stimulate sarcomerogenesis (muscle growth). This is where Clinical Pilates can be really helpful, providing stretch and strength AT THE SAME TIME!

The common misconception surrounding strength training is that it will tighten your muscles. But the stronger your muscles are, the better you will be able to control the movement of joints throughout their full range of movement and the more work they will be able to perform before they get tight.

This is especially true if you are pregnant, as different hormones allow your ligaments to loosen and stretch; safe strength training, Clinical Pilates, and body weights can be a great place to start. Get in touch if you are keen on more physio facts! Be mindful that slow holds and static stretching can be nice to keep you limber after a run or activity. Check out our @movesportsphysio video for a quick standing post-run stretch you can do at home.

Book our Clinical Pilates sessions at MOVE. Did you know we offer 2:1 ongoing classes, so you can continue to increase your tissue tolerance on a weekly basis.

Physiotherapist on a reformer


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