Stretching is an important, but often neglected, component of fitness. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you get the most out of your flexibility routine:
- Never stretch cold muscles. Always warm up first, and perform dynamic stretches at the beginning of your workout. Dynamic stretches are smooth, rhythmic stretches moving the muscles through a full range of motion.
- Static (held) stretches are best performed after your workout. Hold each stretch for thirty seconds or more for the most benefit. This is when your body will really respond and gain flexibility.
- Stretching should not be painful. Push your body just to the “edge of ouch.” Stretching should be relaxing and feel good. Painful stretches may result in injury.
Try to stretch every day. You’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel. If you can’t get to it daily, aim for at least 3-4 times per week.