While Stretching may appear a bit bland as compared with resistance exercises such as Free Weights and Weight Training exercises, without a good Stretch, all your hard work at the gym will not be complete.
The following are Tips to Improve and make the most out of your Stretch:
How to Stretch
When to Stretch
- The Right Way to Stretch is slow and relaxed.
- When stretching, hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Avoid bouncing or Stretching to the point of pain. This can actually cause you to pull the muscle you are trying to Stretch.
- Breathe deeply to intensify the Stretch as you exhale.
- Stretch two or three more times with each Stretch.
- Try to Stretch a little further with each Stretch. Remeber to do it only to the point of mild tension.
- For any Stretch that involves bending your knees, make certain that your knee doesn't go beyond your toe. Otherwise, there's too much stress on the knee.
- To Maintain your Flexibility, Stretch at least three times a week.
- You can Stretch anytime you feel like it (e.g. at your desk, waiting for a bus) and at various times of the day when you can.
- Each Stretching Session should last for about 10 to 20 minutes.
- To improve your performance and prevent injury, Stretch before doing some workout routines or playing a sport.
- For all kinds of exercises, whether calisthenics or weight training, do the Stretches Before and After Workouts.
- Avoid strenuous Stretching for one to two hours after eating.
- During hot or humid days, do your Strenuous stretching early morning or evening, when it is cooler or less humid.
- Don't Stretch a muscle that you've recently injured, unless your doctor gives you a go signal. Still, try to use supports like wrist and knee wraps.
Still, Stretching involves caution to prevent injury. Although it seems easier to get into the habit of Stretching some muscle groups than others, it is important to stretch all major muscle groups. Besides a General Stretch of major muscle groups, Stretch the specific muscles required for your sport or Fitness Activity.