7 Tips to Become a Pro at Stretching
Many people skip this important part of a workout. There are several benefits to stretching including reduced muscle tension, increased range of motion, increased circulation and increased energy levels resulting from increased circulation. Stretching should be performed after a 5 minute warm up or when you are done with your workout. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends the following stretching guidelines:
- While your muscles are warm, complete a static stretching routine focusing on your major muscle groups.
- Starting off, stretch 2-3 days a week and work up to 5-7 days a week.
- Stretch to end range of motion and to the point of tightness but not discomfort. You should not feel pain when you stretch.
- Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Make sure you continue breath while holding your stretch.
- Do not bounce while stretching. Bouncing or ballistic stretching may cause injury.
- Complete 1 to 2 repetitions of each stretch.
- Activities such as yoga and Pilates incorporate stretching into the workout.
Take care when stretching joints that have been injured and consult your physician or physical therapist with regards to stretch areas of your body where you have pain or have recently been injured.
*Before beginning any exercise program it is important visit your primary care provider to obtain clearance to exercise.