Building strength, balance, power and grace from within
1. Always stretch when your muscles are warm. You will gain more flexibility and it is safer than stretching a cold muscle.
2. You should never feel pain when stretching. You should feel a gentle stretch.
3. Hold your stretches for 20-30 seconds.
4. Repeat stretches 2-3 times per session.
5. Stretch 2-3 times per day to gain flexibility.
6. Stretch 1 time per day to maintain flexibility. When going through a growth spurt, you may need to increase the number of times you stretch per day.
7. Some studies suggest that stretching before a workout can weaken the muscle making it more vulnerable to injury. Better to do an active warm-up. *Note: If you need the mobility to perform a certain skill, however, you will need to stretch to avoid straining.
8. Maintain joint stability and muscular strength by strengthening the muscles you are stretching. Contract-Relax Stretching is a great technique which increases muscle length while maintaining the strength of that muscle.
9. I like to relax and exhale (breathe out) as I go into the stretch and inhale as I come out of the stretch.
10. Consult a strength and conditioning professional to assess flexibility and determine the best exercises for you. Also, learn the angles for greater range of motion.
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