Stretching is an important part of overall fitness. It can improve range of motion and flexibility. Be sure to use correct form when you are stretching and in the meanwhile, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep yourself on track.
- Stretch after a warm up and perform them with slow deliberateness in order to avoid injury
- Listen to your body and don’t try to overextend yourself, stretching is not supposed to injure your muscles
- Practice holding your stretches for 10 seconds, holding for loads longer doesn’t offer you much more
- Breathe through the stretches, practice deep breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth
- Remember that it takes time to increase your flexibility, so be patient
- Bounce through your stretches, it’s not a race
- Overextend repeatedly, you can actually pull or strain your muscles and cause yourself an injury
- Lock up your joints and hold them rigid while trying to stretch around them
- Stretch before a warm up when your muscles are cold
- Skip the stretching before a run or other intense physical activity
While these do’s and don’ts do not cover specific stretches, the information applies to the majority of stretches that you can perform. What other tips can you offer about stretching?