The Benefits of Stretching

Now that your body is warmed up, it’s time to move on to stretching. But before I get into the different types of stretches, let’s discuss the benefits. According to sports trainer Brad Walker, author of The Anatomy of Stretching, stretching accomplishes four main goals.

4 Main Goals of Stretching:


1. Improve range of movement to achieve greater comfort and enhanced mobility

2. Increase muscle power and balance

3. Reduce post-exercise soreness

4. Decrease fatigue by taking pressure off working muscles

 

Added Benefits of Stretching

When done correctly, Michael J. Alter, author of Sport Stretch and Science of Flexibility, claims that the benefits of stretching also include:

  • Enhanced physical fitness
  • Ability to learn and perform skilled movements
  • Increased mental and physical relaxation
  • Reduced risk of injury to joints, muscles and tendons
  • Reduced severity of painful menstruation in females

 

Common Stretching Mistakes

Unfortunately, when stretches are done incorrectly these benefits can cease to exist. Some of the most common mistakes made when stretching are:

Improper warm up – Inadequate rest between workouts – Overstretching

In order to avoid these mistakes, make a commitment to yourself to stretch regularly, at least three to four times a week. You want to make sure you are stretching safely too. Stretching shouldn’t hurt or be done forcefully. Stretch to a slight discomfort, not a painful one. Don’t forget to always warm up first!