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Monday
Jul132009

Best Practices for Stretching in Water

"I just began teaching an aqua stretch class. On land the stretches should be held 20-30 seconds. It seems water everything is different - heart rate, impact, etc...

Q: "Is there different criteria for water stretches?"

A:There have been many studies conducted with flexibility in mind. The majority of land studies conclude that static stretches should be performed with warm muscles and held for 30 seconds to achieve the maximal benefit. This statement seems to be dependent on age (Younger (<39) 30 seconds, older (>65) 60 seconds).

There is also a great body of evidence that supports that total daily stretching time has more influence on improving flexibility than a single bout (ex: 10 second hamstring stretch performed 6 times per day).

As on land, stretching in the water should be performed after warming up the muscles. When determining stretching duration, the aquatic environment should be taken into account. If you are performing stretches in a cooler body of water, a shorter static stretch followed by dynamic exercises should be performed to assist in maintaining muscle temperature. In a warmer pool, maintenance of muscle temperature will not pose as much of a challenge and thus stretches can be longer in duration and without interruption.

The aquatic environment provides unique properties to assist in increasing range of motion. Learning how to utilize this environment will assist in providing depth to any aquatic class.

Lori A. Sherlock, Research Committee Co-Chair
Aquatic Exercise Association, Inc.
941/486-8600
www.aeawave.com

References:
1. Bandy, W.D., Irion, J.M., & Briggler, M. (1997). The effect of time and frequency of static stretching on flexibility of the hamstring muscles. Physical Therapy, 77, 1090-1096
2. Cipriani, D., Abel, B., & Pirrwitz, D. (2003). A comparison of two stretching protocols on hip range of motion: implications for total daily stretch duration. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 17, 274-278
3. Feland, J.B., Myrer, J.W., Schulthies, S.S., Fellingham, G.W., & Measom, G.W. (2001). The effect of duration of stretching of the hamstring muscle group for increasing range of motion in people aged 65 years or older. Physical Therapy, 81, 1110-1117

Reader Comments (1)

swimming is the best exercise for body. It helps to shape up your body in water. Thank you for sharing some tips.
October 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKerala Tours

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