Stretching Exercise Tips & Advice

When you are performing a Stretching Exercise there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. If you think about it, stretching is really quite simple. I think a lot of people have difficulties when they try to develop their own techniques.







Hey...keep it simple! Follow the tips below when you begin a stretching routine. By doing this, you will not only be performing the stretches properly and effectively - but you will also prevent any unnecessary injuries. In addition to this, you will notice an increased amount of flexibility and looseness of the muscles.

Before I get to the stretching tips, here are two common mistakes to avoid! These two improper techniques are the main reasons why people get injured during stretching routines.

  • Do not bounce up and down while stretching!

  • Do not stretch to the point of pain!

Stretching Exercise Tips

The Easy Stretch

  • At the beginning of your stretching exercise spend 10-30 seconds in an easy stretch.

  • Get to the point where you feel mild tension, relax and hold the stretch.

  • This tension will subside as you continue to hold the stretch.

  • If the tension doesn't subside, ease up slightly to a more comfortable level of tension.

  • This stretch reduces muscle tightness and prepares the tissues for the developmental stretch.

  • DO NOT BOUNCE!

The Developmental Stretch

  • Now move slightly further until you feel a mild tension once again.

  • Hold the stretch there for 10-30 seconds.

  • Again, the tension should diminish - if not ease back slightly.

  • This stretch fine-tunes the muscles and helps increase flexibility.

  • Remember, be in control of your body and no bouncing.

Breathing

  • Your breathing should be slow and under control.

  • Exhale as you bend forward.

  • Breathe slowly as you hold the stretch.

  • Always breathe naturally. If you are unable to do this - then ease up on the stretch a bit.

  • DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATHE!

Counting

  • To start, count the 10-30 seconds silently.

  • After a while - you will perform your stretches by the way your muscles feel. You will know when it's been 30 seconds.

The Stretch Reflex

  • The stretch reflex protects your muscles during a stretching exercise.

  • If the muscles are stretched too far - a nerve reflex sends a signal to the muscle telling it to contract or tighten.

  • This reflex/contraction prevents the muscle from getting injured.

  • Overstretching and bouncing activates the stretch reflex. This then tightens the muscle.

  • So...avoid these negative movements as they are actually tightening the muscles you are trying to stretch and loosen.

  • Avoid the no pain, no gain mentality.








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