4 Tips to Help You Stretch Smarter

Let’s face it! Stretching is always one of the last things on our priority list. This is mainly because we don’t see or know the benefits of stretching. Stretching goes a long way in improving your flexibility and this in turn, decreases your risk of injuries. It also increases blood flow to the muscles, improves your posture and gives you a better range of motion.
So it’s important that you add stretching to your daily workout routine. But to make sure that you’re careful about how you’re stretching to avoid injury, follow these following stretching tips.

1. Stretch after your workout session, not before.

Recent research has discovered that static stretching can reduce strength in the stretched muscles by almost 5.5 percent. They also discovered that impact increased for people who hold a particular stretching position for more than 90 seconds or more. This is simply to say that the reduction of muscle strength is directly proportion to how long you hold a static stretch position. This same research suggests that, while stretching loosens up muscles, it can also decrease their ability to hold energy and react quickly.
Instead of stretching before commencing your workout session, a better option would be to do an intense warm-up that gets the muscles you’re about to use ready for action.

2. Use the right type of stretching

Static stretching
There are so many different stretches out there that you can do, depending on want you want and the kind of activities you’re doing. Depending on what exactly you want, you can go with the following choices: Static stretches, PNF, passive, active and dynamic. Static stretches however, are the most common type of stretches.

3. Stretch only to the point where you feel mild discomfort

Stretching is meant to feel good and help you relax. If it’s painful, then it’s bad for you. When you stretch your muscles beyond its limits, the body makes use of the stretch reflex and this is what causes that sharp pain you feel. The reflex is the body’s way of protecting itself against injury.
So when stretching, it’s okay to feel a slight pull on the muscle, but nothing more than that. Another important thing you must always do while stretching is to make sure you breathe throughout the stretch because holding your breath can cause muscle tension.

4. Stretch often

Unlike other exercise routines, stretching is sure to give you an almost immediate result. A consistent stretching routine will help you see improvements in your flexibility fairly quickly. It is recommended that you do stretching activities, at least two days per week. But in a case where you’re facing lost joint motion or stiffness, stretching activities should be done daily.

Never you underestimated the importance of stretching to your health in general. So whatever the case might be, make sure to add stretching to your daily routine.
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