Improve Your Stretches By Varying Your Angle
Have you tried a stretch and not felt it? You can get more of a stretch and more from the stretch by changing the angle.
Take a look at any anatomy picture, and you will see that our muscles have fibers that go in different directions, which enable us to move throughout our surroundings in multiple directions.
Consider that to kick a soccer ball with our right foot, we first plant the right foot next to the ball. Then the right leg drops behind the left and spirals forward until the top of the foot connects with the ball. Afterward, the right leg crosses in front of the left leg during the follow through. This is know as a spiral and diagonal pattern.
In the gym we often see members stretching their hamstrings by only lifting the leg straight up, but not across or to the opposite side or even out to the side. Changing angles completes the stretch and helps us stretch in a more functional way that relates properly to human movement.
Another reason to stretch at a different angle is that the angle we “don’t feel it” is often an angle that we don’t need to stretch. Try changing your angle, getting out of your comfort zone and lengthening until you feel a mild stretch.