Having good flexibility is more important than we think.
It is not just a capricious physical quality, but much more than this, since flexibility helps coordination, which must be properly developed to avoid falls and injuries. It is also important for strengthening our joints and allowing them to function in their full range.
It is also important to develop good flexibility to guarantee better sports performance, since a low level of flexibility makes the movement run worse and slower. Imagine an elite or competitive athlete: a lack of flexibility would imply that they perform a worse execution technique.
That being said, in today’s blog we will talk about the importance of having good flexibility, and how to develop it correctly with the right stretching (and with the help of electrostimulation). You will see your physical capacity improved and you will be able to perform movements that seemed impossible to perform before!
Types of stretches to gain flexibility
Flexibility depends on several factors: our genetics, lifestyle, and of course, our training. That said, flexibility can be trained if we do the right stretching. Here we present the 3 most popular:
Dynamic stretching should be preceded by a good warm-up, since this type of stretching is carried out actively through smooth and controlled movements that gradually increase, preparing the muscle for physical activity.
Static stretching generally lasts between 15 and 30 seconds between exercises, and consists of stretching at rest to the limit of comfort. In this type of stretching the energy expenditure is much less than in dynamic stretching. In addition, as they are slow movements and at rest, better muscle relaxation is achieved, increasing blood circulation and reducing the sensation of pain.
The pre-contraction technique involves the anticipated contraction of the muscles to be stretched, and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is the most common technique. The FNP has demonstrated its effectiveness in improving the range of active and passive movement of different joints in sports.
However, many of the possibilities offered by electrostimulation to improve flexibility are unknown to most sports professionals. Numerous studies have shown that the application of TENS type currents is an effective method to improve flexibility.
In this article, all the advantages offered by flexibility work through electrostimulation are presented, including the application of stretching and the most beneficial methods to achieve the desired objectives.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, is it possible to improve flexibility thanks to electrostimulation?
The objective of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is to stimulate and accelerate the response of neuromuscular mechanisms through the stimulation of proprioceptors. This technique uses natural reflexes, such as the autogenous inhibition reflex, to inhibit muscle contraction and thus achieve a greater range of motion (ROM).
The effectiveness of PNF is based on the use of mass movement patterns called spiral-diagonals and specific techniques that sequence muscle performance during these movement patterns.
However, it is important to note that if the muscles gradually become stiff and lose their elasticity, they may even become stronger but shorter, which can lead to a functional defect that will have a negative impact both physically and psychologically.
Improving flexibility thanks to stretching
With the aim of preventing possible problems in our locomotor system, an alternative is the practice of stretching through electrostimulation to improve flexibility. This type of technique is widely used in the prevention and treatment of injuries and has an extensive body of information and specialized authors.
Electrostimulation in sports is a resource widely used by many authors for various purposes, including improving muscle strength and endurance, increasing muscle mass, accelerating recovery after sports practice, and preventing and improving recovery from injuries.
That is why electrical stimulation has been studied in recent decades as a basic means to strengthen muscles and improve the physical condition of healthy subjects and athletes, thus increasing their athletic capacity and sports performance.
Stretching with electrostimulation
There are many benefits that stretching brings us, and with the help of electrostimulation we can see the effects enhanced:
- It helps us warm up before exercise.
- Increase our muscle flexibility and expand joint range.
- Reduces muscle tension.
- It makes the muscle return to a calm state after exercise.
- Promotes muscle recovery.
- It helps us avoid injuries.
With Wiemspro electrostimulation suit you can easily stretch the main muscle groups of your body: pectorals, dorsal muscles, lumbar muscles, abdominal muscles, biceps, triceps, gluteal muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings and abductors.
In addition, Wiemspro has developed next generation software in order to control the intensity and frequency of the electrical wave in each muscle group in a simple and effective way. These waves are controlled wirelessly via an iPad, allowing the treatment to take place anywhere the physiotherapist or personal trainer wishes.
This technology guarantees visible, fast and effective results, so your flexibility will be exponentially improved thanks to the precision of Wiemspro Technology.
Potentiation and Electrical Elongation, Maya, J. 2001
According to Maya, J., the stretching technique using electrostimulation must follow the following steps:
- Stretch the muscles until the feeling of elasticity disappears.
- Gradually increase the amplitude of the current until muscle contraction occurs and the stretching sensation is no longer felt
- Stretch the muscles again until a new sensation of tension appears.
- Repeat this cycle three times.
According to scientific articles, the recommended parameters for flexibility training with electrical stimulation are the application of symmetrical biphasic rectangular impulses with a phase duration of 0.3 milliseconds and a frequency of 40 Hz.
It can be stated that the ability to improve flexibility can be achieved through two techniques
- The stretching method with TENS.
- The PNF stretching technique.
Both can generate an increase in range of motion as long as they are applied properly and consistently. However, it is important to note that the electrostimulation stretching method produces significantly greater gains. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the muscle being stretched is in a state of relative contraction, which carries a certain risk, since poor execution can lead to muscle tear. Therefore, it is essential to carry out these techniques with rigorous control.