Self Stretching vs Assisted Stretching

Self Stretching vs Assisted Stretching

A man assisting a woman in stretching

Stretching is key to improving your physical health and keeping in the right shape. This article explores the major differences between assisted stretching vs self stretching and why the former can be more beneficial.

Solo Stretching 


As mentioned, solo stretching is a type of stretch exercise that can be completed alone or by yourself. This is often going to be far more convenient if you are completing typical everyday stretches when you need to get ready for an exercise routine, warm up your muscles or simply ensure that your joints don’t feel stiff. Self stretching exercises will often include stretching exercises that focus on aspects such as mobility, flexibility and stability. 


Solo stretching may also be used to complete stretches that you at first needed assistance of support with. However, there are certain stretches that you will only be able to complete with some help or assistance. This is why many people argue that assisted stretching can provide more health and physical fitness benefits compared to the stretches that you can complete by yourself. 


You should be completing some solo stretching exercises each time you workout to ensure that you are warming up your muscles and increasing your level of mobility. Self stretching practices can also significantly reduce the chances of you experiencing an injury when you are working out, whether you are exercising at home or at the gym. The reason for this is simple. By stretching your body the right way, you will increase your range of motion significantly. This will ensure that you are able to move freely without putting a strain on your body. It can help you avoid common fitness injuries including strained muscles or even more serious problems such as torn ligaments. 


However, solo stretching will only take your body so far. That’s why you might also want to explore assisted stretching options. 


Assisted Stretching Explained 


Assisted stretching is often completed with a trained health worker. However, generally speaking, anyone can help you with stretching. For instance, you could get a friend to support you while you are completing more difficult stretches. Although to get the full benefits it is recommended that you do use the support of a professional. 

Assisted stretching may be an activity that is completed at a health or fitness facility. However, it can also be completed within your home using the support of a remote team worker. 


Assisted stretching can include using some form of apparatus. One example would be a massage table. Using a massage table it is possible to ensure that a wide range of different stretches are completed while guaranteeing that your body receives the full and complete support required. 


What Are The Benefits Of Assisted Stretching?


Assisted stretching will provide a wide range of benefits for the typical individual. First, unlike self stretching exercises, assisted stretching techniques can be used to identify a problematic area that could be impacting your physical fitness and your performance. This might include something like a weak knee or a specific joint that is causing you pain. When an issue like this is identified, assisted stretching can focus on helping alleviate the discomfort by improving range of motion. 


Assisted stretching provides various other general long term benefits too. For instance, it is possible to use assisted stretching to significantly increase levels of flexibility. By increasing flexibility you can improve your general levels of fitness and ensure that you do have a far better quality of life overall. Higher flexibility levels will also ensure that you can complete more workouts without the risk of getting injured and can even help improve aspects such as balance. This means that falls, trips and slips all become far less likely overtime. 


Assisted stretching may also increase the blood flow to your muscles. This is key for keeping your muscles healthy and guaranteeing that they get the oxygen and nutrients required. This can help ensure that your muscles grow and remain strong in the long term, even as you go through the aging process. 


Assisted stretching can also help strengthen the muscles. Through the process of assisted stretching, it is possible to improve the muscle length which will mean that your muscles feel stronger and more flexible overall. This will ensure that you can achieve a wider range of motion. 


Assisted stretching is also another way to reduce the chance of injuries occurring. It’s difficult to know the limitations of your own body. This can also be true when completing stretching exercises. If you push your body too far then you are more likely to sustain an injury. There are lots of guides online that suggest stretches that you should complete, often by yourself. However, these stretches could be complicated or involve stretches that you are not quite ready for. 


Injuries can be caused by low levels of flexibility, stability and mobility. If you push beyond your joint’s level of mobility, then you are always going to increase the risk of causing damage. It’s far easier to avoid a situation like this if you have a professional working with you. 


Why Is Assisted Stretching Better For Your Body?


Assisted stretching is generally going to be better for you compared to completing stretching exercises by yourself without any assistance or support. There are a few reasons why this is the case. 


First, you might have been completing stretches your entire life. This is often true for anyone who is fitness focused and wants to stay in shape. However, it is possible that you have been stretching wrong for years. There is a right and wrong way to stretch areas of your body. As mentioned, you could be pushing your body too far or you might not be achieving the full range of motion that your body is capable of. With assisted stretching, you can learn how to stretch your body the right way. This can also provide a solid foundation that you can use for self stretching exercises independently when necessary. However, it will at the very least ensure that your body does receive the right treatment that it requires. 


Another key benefit of assisted stretching is that you can receive a routine tailored around your needs and requirements. Everyone’s level of physical fitness is going to be different. You might be experiencing the impact of a long term injury. If that’s the case, you could benefit from different stretches compared with someone who is in better physical health. Assisted stretching can also be used to target specific weak spots that are impacting you. The majority of self stretching strategies are incredibly generalized. As such, they are not designed to provide real benefits for specific areas of your body. Assisted stretching will often include multiple stretches that are designed specifically around your needs and your requirements. 


You are also limited in terms of the type of stretches that you can complete by yourself. You will only be able to complete certain types of stretches and take your body so far. If you do attempt more significant stretches, then it’s possible that you will increase the risk of injury. This could set back your workout plans or fitness strategy and leave you in a state of recovery. This is the last thing that you want. 


Assisted stretching also ensures that you are not restricted in terms of the stretches that you can complete due to factors such as:


  • Injury 
  • Age 
  • Long term health conditions


With assisted stretching, you can ensure that your body does gain the right benefits of the best stretching techniques regardless of your physical health. As mentioned, assisted stretching strategies can be focused around your needs and your individual requirements. So, you will never be limited in terms of what you can achieve. With professional support, you will be able to guarantee that you do reach your maximum potential when stretching your body. 

Who Will Benefit From Assisted Stretching? 


Generally speaking, anyone keen to improve their physical level of health could benefit from assisted stretching strategies. However, there are also certain groups of individuals who will gain more benefits than most. 

Assisted stretching does become more beneficial as you age. When you get older, your levels of flexibility are significantly reduced. This can impact key areas of your body such as the knees or spine. You might find that even typical tasks through the day like walking up the stairs become more difficult and painful. With assisted stretching, the range of motion can be increased significantly. This can help reduce pain or discomfort. 


Assisted stretching may also help people who are suffering from long term health conditions such as arthritis. Arthritis is becoming more common due to a growing elderly population. By 2040, it’s expected that there will be more than 78 million people across the country with an arthritis diagnosis. Stretching can help alleviate the more problematic symptoms of the condition. Unfortunately, symptoms can make it more difficult to complete self stretching exercises. That’s why assisted stretching can provide such a vast benefit. Health professionals can also recommend the best stretches for your particular condition. 


Assisted stretching isn’t just useful for preventing injuries. It can be helpful when recovering from injuries as well. An injury could have left you imobile for a significant period. This is another reason why self stretching can become more difficult for individuals. With assisted stretching, you can get your body moving once more. This can help improve your rate of recovery. Again, assisted stretching strategies can be tailored around an injury that you have sustained. They can also be used to focus on specific goals that might be relevant to you. That could include increasing the range of motion in a key area of the body where you have sustained an injury. 


Sports enthusiasts and athletes can also benefit from the right assisted stretching strategy. You will often see athletes in the media stretching their body with the assistance of a physical health professional. Through assisted stretching techniques, it is possible to ensure that you are reaching the maximum potential with your body and improving everything from core movements to motion as well as flexibility. The right approach to assisted stretching will allow you to increase your stamina and vastly improve your abilities on the field, on the court, or at the gym. 


To summarize, both self stretching and assisted stretching will provide significant health benefits for you in both the long and short term. However, assisted stretching will provide greater benefits for your body. Assisted stretching will guarantee that you are completing the right stretches that are based around your individual fitness needs. They will also ensure that you can safely push your body further than you normally would. This can lead to countless benefits including increased blood flow and extended range of motion. Assisted stretching can also be used to recover from a health issue, reduce physical symptoms from a long term condition or simply strengthen your body as you age.