Stretch Challenge

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Stretch Challenge

Alex Johnston, Writer

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Stretching is often used by all athletes to warm up at practice and get loose, but how would doing one stretch a day affect the body.  I will be doing a two week challenge to see the effectiveness of minimal stretching.  

First day getting into the position was difficult and my reach was putting my hands on the ground.  Later in the day and that night, my reach had increased roughly 5 inches. This is most likely due to the blood flow in the body being more circulated and loose.  

Second day the morning was also equally as difficult, but the second stretch of the day had an inch increase from the day before.  

Day three morning stretch was still difficult, and second stretch of the day was similar to the day before.  The afternoon yielded a 22 inch stretch which was the same from the afternoon before.  

Day four did not yield anything significant.  There were no changes from the days before. The stretching length remained the same.  

Day five to seven did not yield any major increases increase only about .2 inches throughout the whole time period.  

Day Eight:  for the last few days my reach has been limited to 22.5 inches at most, but today it was at 24.5 inches.  A dramatic increase, but I worked out this morning which could possibly have an effect on the muscles leading to a larger reach.  

Day 9-13: Through these days my reach increased up 25 inches by roughly .2

Day 14: My max reach was 26 inches.  

At around day 3 I began seeing my reach increase from 21 to 22 inches. For 5 days after, I saw it increase only of .2 inches, but on Day 8 my reach hit 24 inches out of nowhere.  There was than a slow crawling up 25 inches until I hit 26 on my last day. My best stretch of the day was typically after practice after my body was completely warmed up from other things as well, but some days it was during my fourth period class that my reach was furthest.  Stretching directly in the morning stung the most on my hamstrings and had the least reach. This leads me to believe that stretching even a minimal amount will provide a benefit to the body and increase reach exponentially.  

Stretching has shown benefit for my swimming as I am able to get into a better position to start.  Through this stretching challenge, I believe I will begin to take stretching more and incorporate it into my workouts more often.  I would recommend stretching as an athlete or as an everyday person because there are multiple benefits, greater reach, vascularity, muscle and joint recovery.