10 Things you Should Know About Stretching

How much time do you really spend on flexibility. Any sound fitness plan should include stretching. And since we’re at the beginning of this post, let’s talk about stretching at the beginning of your workout. I know there are some people who jump into stretching right away. That could be good, or not so much. You ever want to stretch a cold muscle Cold muscles are easier to injure and that goes against the whole plan right? Spend at least 3-5 minutes on a warm-up and then lightly stretch your muscles. So that’s the first precaution, here are some more guidelines.

1. To increase your flexibility and to avoid injuries, stretch after your workout also. After you’re done with the workout you want to be done, done with the whole thing but don’t be in a rush. Stretching after a workout, when your muscles are still warm, can increase flexibility.

2. Hold your stretch position for 30 – 60 seconds to increase flexibility. While holding your position for 20 seconds is enough for warm ups, holding each position for at least 60 seconds will develop more flexibility.

3. No bouncing or rock-em sock-em robots. When stretching, hold that position for several seconds, and then slowly relax. You may stretch repeatedly this way. Bouncing or forcing yourself into a position during stretching can cause strain or damage.

4. Slowly work your way into a stretch. Stretch in increments instead of trying to take it to the limits right away.

5. Make sure that you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups. Even the fittest and strongest among us tend to neglect some areas. For instance, the neck . Stretching the neck muscles can be as simple as placing the palm of your hand against the front of the head and gently pushing it. Do the same to the sides and the back of the head as well.

6. Stretching should be done regularly to increase your range of motion and your level of flexibility and strength.

7. Do what you do best. Don’t force yourself to do anything you’re not ready for trying to follow someone else. Increase your limits slowly and listen to your body. There may be days when your body may be too tired and you may have to consider reducing your range of motion.

8. Learn to rest. Rest in between sets and stations to make sure that your body has enough time to recover.

9. Aerobic exercises require stretching just as much as strength training.

10. Yoga and Pilates are great exercises to stretch, and strengthen in one fell swoop.

Aside from preventing injuries and improving your range of motion, stretching can rejuvenate a tired body and ease a stressed mind. So on that note, Take Care and Be well.



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