4 Stretching Tips to Help you Stay Flexible and Injury Free

stretching-tips

Many fitness enthusiasts think of stretching as the easy and non-essential part of the workout. This rationale is erroneous, and can make it easy for you to justify skipping your stretches or may even cause you to injure yourself by not paying close enough attention to how or when the stretch is supposed to be done. Stretching is at least as important as the rest of the workout as it can help to prevent injuries while endowing you with the flexibility necessary to get the most from your workout.

  1. Understand That Flexibility is Individual

Every person has a different degree of flexibility. If flexibility is limited, it may be because the muscles are stiff. Stretching may help to ease stiffness and promote comfort. If flexibility is high but you don’t stretch often, the muscles may be weak. It is important to find a balance between strength and flexibility while honoring what your body can do.

  1. Only Perform Static Stretches After a Workout

Static stretches are stretches that bring the muscle to its end position and hold it for a short period of time. When done before a workout, static stretches can hurt performance and increase the risks of injury. When done after a workout, however, static stretches can help to extend the muscle and work out tension.

  1. Have Someone Check Your Form

When done incorrectly, stretches can tear muscles and cause stiffness and injuries. A mirror can help you check your form, but an expert is better. If you have health conditions, a licensed physical therapist may provide the best advice.

  1. Don’t Overstretch or Bounce

Stretching to a point of pain can cause serious damage. If you find that you are “bouncing” to try to stretch farther, stop! Bouncing can cause you to overstretch without realizing it and can make it difficult for you to control the stretch.

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