Return To Form’s Guide To Stretching

Benefits of stretching
– Improved flexibility and mobility
– Improved range of motion
– Increased circulation
– Enhanced physical performance

Before exercising – dynamic stretching
Before you start exercising it is important to warm up the muscles, if you start exercising with cold muscles you increase your risk of pulling a muscle. Start with 5-10 minutes of brisk walking, star jumps or jogging on the spot or any exercise of your choice. Dynamic stretching is moving the muscle through its complete range of motion, this increases blood flow to the area and actives/engages the muscles that will be used during the workout.

After Exercises – static stretching
When you have finished a work out it is important to stretch afterwards. Static stretching is recommended, which means to hold a stretch in one position. By doing static stretching it is increasing circulation to the muscles to aid in recovery, which then decreases muscle soreness and increases flexibility and mobility.

Stretching Technique
– Hold stretch for at least 30 seconds, it takes time to lengthen the muscles
– Don’t push into pain, you can risk pulling the muscle, push until you feel a comfortable stretch that you are able to hold for 30 seconds or more
– Keep breathing through the stretch so that you are able to relax
– Make sure you are stretching both sides to avoid imbalances
– Hold the stretch try not to bounce or move up and down this may cause you to pull a muscle

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