- Field Skills
Stretching is an important part of any fitness program, but too often, workout injuries are the result of tight muscles. A relaxed and loose muscle is more efficient and less prone to injury. Stretching increases blood flow to the working muscles, providing more flexibility and better range of motion, increasing your performance. Stretching after exercise and activity prevents muscles from tightening up. A few simple stretches can put you on the path to a comfortable workout.
- Stretch when your muscles have been warmed up by light aerobic exercise.
- Stretch for at least 10-20 minutes each session.
- If you are new at stretching, hold each stretch statically for 10 seconds, progressing to 30 to 45 seconds.
- Do not bounce when stretching. Bouncing may increase your chance of injury. Stretches should be relaxed and gradual.
- Stretch all the major muscles as well as sport-specific muscles.
- Stop if you feel pain. You should feel a pull but not pain.
- Focus on the muscle groups you want to stretch. Stretch opposing muscles to relax the joints. You don't want to have one side tighter than the other.
- Don't hold your breath. Take a few deep breaths to relax your muscles even more.
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