There are so many great benefits of partner-assisted stretching, but what do you do if you don’t have a partner to stretch with, or you don’t want to pay the expense of visiting a stretching studio? That’s where a stretching strap comes in. Stretching straps are made of durable nylon and have multiple loops that permit deep, gradual stretching of major muscle groups, providing the benefits of partner-assisted stretching, without the partner.
Benefits of using a stretching strap include:
- More control – The strap features various loops to hold onto; the tension in the strap allows for controlled movement of your limbs.
- Go deeper into the stretch – The additional length provided by the strap allows you to move gradually into a deeper, more effective stretch.
- Better posture while stretching – Reach into poses without tensing or rounding your upper body.
- More stretching options – The control provided by the stretching strap allows you to reach into poses you otherwise would not be able to.
- Perform contract-relax stretching – Tense the muscle group you want to stretch while pressing into the strap, relax for a moment, and then slowly and gradually stretch. This type of stretching has been shown to improve both flexibility and strength.
Here are 3 simple stretches you can do with a stretching strap:
Start: Place the center of the Stretch Out Strap beneath your left foot and reach the left leg straight out. Sit tall with neutral spine and bend the right leg to place your right foot against your left inner thigh. Hold loops of the Stretch Out Strap with both hands. With neutral spine, hinge forward from your hips.
Stretch Out: Press the back of your left leg into the floor, tensing the hamstrings. Relax for a moment, and then lean your upper body further forward. Continue contracting, relaxing, and stretching your hamstrings 2 to 3 times, and then hold the stretch for at least 10 seconds.
Start: Hook one Stretch Out Strap end loop around the middle of each foot. Lie face down, bend both knees and hold the center of the Stretch Out Strap behind your head.
Stretch Out: Try to straighten both knees, tensing quadriceps muscles, while resisting with the Stretch Out Strap. Relax for a moment, and then bend your knees further, as if reaching your feet toward the middle of your back. Continue contracting, relaxing, and stretching your quadriceps 2 to 3 times, and then hold the stretch for at least 10 seconds.
Chest & Biceps Stretch
Start: Stand tall with the Stretch Out Strap behind your back. Each hand holds the first or second loop from the center, with palms facing forward. With your arms straight, reach back as far as comfortable.
Stretch Out: Tense the chest and biceps muscles as if pressing the Stretch Out Strap forward, without moving the strap. Relax for a moment, and then reach your arms further back behind you. Continue contracting, relaxing, and stretching your chest and biceps muscles 2 to 3 times, and then hold the stretch for at least 10 seconds.
Find these stretches and more in a free stretching guide that comes with the purchase of The Original Stretch Out Strap from OPTP.