When and How to Stretch Properly : A Primer
Stretching is an important part of any exercise program, as it helps to improve flexibility, reduce the risk of injury, and enhance overall performance. But, it is important to know how to stretch properly in order to get the most out of your stretching routine. Here are some tips for stretching properly:
- Warm Up Before You Stretch: Before you start stretching, it is important to warm up your muscles. This can be done by doing some light aerobic activity, such as walking or jogging. This will help raise your body temperature and allow your muscles to be more pliable and less prone to injury.
- Know When to Use Static Stretching vs Dynamic Stretching: Static stretching is best used after your warm up to help increase flexibility. This type of stretching involves holding a stretch for a period of time, usually around 30 seconds. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, is best used before exercise to help prepare your body for the activity. This type of stretching involves active movements such as lunges, squats, and arm circles.
- Stretch All Major Muscle Groups: To get the most out of your stretching routine, make sure to stretch all major muscle groups. This includes your arms, legs, back, chest, and core. It is also important to stretch both sides of your body evenly.
- Don’t Bounce: When stretching, it is important not to bounce. Bouncing can cause micro-tears in the muscle and can lead to injury.
- Relax and Breathe: As you stretch, it is important to relax your body and focus on your breathing. This will help you to relax your muscles and get the most out of your stretches.
Stretching is an important part of any exercise program and can help to increase flexibility, reduce injury, and improve performance. By following these tips, you can make sure that you are stretching properly and getting the most out of your routine.