The Importance of Stretching

Stretching works to increase a person’s flexibility and range of motion. These abilities, acquired by frequent stretching, can enhance performance in physical activities and can potentially prevent injuries that would have otherwise occurred due to physical activity. Blood flow is increased to muscles as a result of stretching, which allows for the muscles to perform more efficiently.

There are certain things that need to be kept in mind while stretching in order to prevent injury due to stretching…

  • Be sure to utilize smooth movements while completing each stretch -bouncing can harm the muscle.
  • Breathe during each stretch as you hold it for at least 30 seconds.
  • There is likely to be tension when you stretch, but there should NEVER be pain. If there is pain, back off or stop altogether.
  • Complete stretches specific to your needs. Athletes should perform stretches specific to their sport.
  • Stretch regularly. Infrequent stretching will not provide desired results and will not improve flexibility  and range of motion.
  • Incorporate movement into your stretching. For example, yoga can be an extremely effective form of stretching.

It is important to keep in mind that stretching does not entirely eliminate the possibility of getting injured while performing activities. Also, stretching has potential to cause harm if you are already injured. Stretching a compromised area could only exacerbate the injury. Chronic injuries and other may mean you need to modify stretches and cater them to your specific needs. A doctor or physical therapist can provide a person with more information pertaining to proper stretching techniques and advice on how ofter to stretch and what areas to focus on.

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