As we all know, stretching is very healthy for you. This is because it helps improve elasticity, flexibility and range of motion in a muscle. Stretching has also been shown to improve athletic performance and decrease risk of injury.
Here a few things to keep in mind starting a proper stretching program.
A stretch is not a quick hold and done.
We need to actually keep the hold for a certain amount of time. We also need to move slowly into the stretch.
A stretch needs to be held anywhere from 15-30 seconds and up to 2 minutes. This may sound like a long time. If following a proper stretching routine, you will quickly learn it is not as long as it seems.
Stretching is not a warm up.
Stretches are not a warm up. Actually, in order for us to get a better stretch we will want our muscles to be somewhat warmed up. It is actually better to stretch after a workout or a quick 5-10 minute walk.
Also, studies have shown that pre-workout stretching could possibly lower your performance.
Performing a dynamic warm up that moves you through a full range of motion is a better choice for your workout warm up.
Focus on major muscle groups.
Try to keep your stretches around the major joints and muscles groups like shoulders, hips, and ankles. In order to improve your posture be sure to stretch your chest and quadricep muscles.
Added bonus, stretch areas of your body that are most commonly used, or recently worked.
Stretching shouldn’t be painful.
You should be feeling tension when you stretch, not pain. If you are feeling pain during a stretch you may be taking it too far. Back off the stretch until you no longer feel pain. Remember, pain is a sign of doing something wrong.
Following a proper stretching routine can be very beneficial for you. It can improve range of motion and help you feel less aches and pains. There are a few things we need to keep in mind when we are stretching. Stretching is not a fast thing and it is not a warm up for our workouts. We also need to make sure to hit up all our muscles and to make sure it is not painful. Most of all, we have to keep in mind that stretching is a part of our fitness routine.