The Benefits of Stretching
Lately, the benefits of stretching have been overshadowed by the injuries caused by improper stretches. Stretching is a great way to avoid tight muscles which is a common cause of many injuries.
This page describes the principles, benefits, tips, descriptions and demonstrations of various stretches for your routine.
Why should we stretch?
- Increased flexibility & agility
- Reduces muscle soreness
- Reduce chance of injury
- Increase performance
- Increased blood flow to the joints
How & when should we stretch?
- Start off slowly
Cold, stiff muscles are more susceptible to injury and can be strained if you go from rest to hard effort stretching. Ease into the your stretching and warm-up routine. If it’s painful, you need to back off a bit and gradually ease into it. The most effective stretches are done slowly and are held for 15-30 seconds
- Warm-up first
One way to ‘start off slowly’ is to do your warm-up before your stretching. You can do this my jogging, massaging your muscles or another light routine that wakes up your muscles without the full-force of your workout.
- Make it a part of your routine
The long-term stretching benefits come through regular stretching. You’ll notice that you’re more flexible and limber over time as your stretching routine continues.
- Don’t over-stretch
If you train with a group of team, stretching (like everything else in life) may start to become a competition. Please don’t get caught up in this. You may even start competing with yourself, as your own flexibility will vary from day to day. Stretching is best done gradually and without overly straining. Don’t bounce, as this too will have a negative impact on your flexibility and could lead to injury.
The benefits of proper stretching are too good to pass up. They will add strength, flexibility, and agility to your muscles and can help you attain whatever your fitness goals may be.
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