The Do’s and Don’ts of Stretching

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.

Do:

  • 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

Don’t:

  • 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?

Related Articles:

Fat Burning Walk

Fitness Goals: The Long and the Short of it

The High 5 on Stretching

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.

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