A Powerful Stretching Ratio to Boost Energy
Last Updated: Sept 29, 2023
When stretching, many people treat each side the same by using a stretching ratio of 1:1. The more powerful stretching ratio of 2:1 will boost energy and achieve more left-to-right balance.
Humans are asymmetrical. There are many things that influence the differences between sides. These include injuries, repetitive movements, single-directional sports, injuries and chronic conditions.
Examples of single-directional rotational sports include tennis and golf. Repetitive jobs like baker, factory worker, mechanic, or office worker set up fascial compensations. The fascial lines end up pulling in differently and in directions on the left and right sides of the body. Someone in chronic pain with a whiplash injury often has tension their shoulders and neck.
Stretch the Left and Right Sides Differently
Use a 2 to 1 Stretching Ratio
It is common to see people holding a stretch for 20-30s, then repeating this on the other side. This means, each side gets the same amount of time and the level of attention.
Will this type of stretching increase your flexibility? Sure, but it doesn't restore balance.
In 2007, during the Fascial Stretch Therapy we learned a powerful stretching ratio. It helps people regain alignment and boost their energy. This ratio is 2:1.
Start by paying attention to how your body feels during each stretch. Notice if there is a direction or side that feels like it has more tension than the other. Stretch the tighter side first, then go to the looser side. Return to and finish on the tighter side.
This means try stretching the “loose” side once and the “tight” side twice. Remember to breathe and relax as you stretch; if you are holding your breath it is too intense. Keep stretching until you find that you are not making any further gains and feel “loose.”
Case Study of Stretching with a 2 to 1 Ratio
My right tibia was broken in a cross-country ski race during high school. This resulted in my right leg being slightly shorter with my foot turned outward a little. The majority of my stress tension is bound up in my right abdomen which also had two surgeries when I was very young.
Therefore, I need to focus on stretching my right hip flexors, right lower back and quadriceps twice. I begin by stretching the right, then stretch the left and finally finish with the right side. This achieves a balanced posture and boosts my energy.
With our stretch tips, we want to change the way you stretch so you achieve lasting changes in your posture, flexibility and performance at work or at play.
Keep the 2 to 1 ratio in mind to achieve a more balanced body. Read more about the optimal length of time to hold stretch positions.