Stretching Exercise Tips & Advice

When you are performing a Stretching Exercise there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. If you think about it, stretching is really quite simple. I think a lot of people have difficulties when they try to develop their own techniques.

Hey…keep it simple! Follow the tips below when you begin a stretching routine. By doing this, you will not only be performing the stretches properly and effectively – but you will also prevent any unnecessary injuries. In addition to this, you will notice an increased amount of flexibility and looseness of the muscles.

Before I get to the stretching tips, here are two common mistakes to avoid! These two improper techniques are the main reasons why people get injured during stretching routines.

  • Do not bounce up and down while stretching!
  • Do not stretch to the point of pain!

Stretching Exercise Tips

The Easy Stretch

  • At the beginning of your stretching exercise spend 10-30 seconds in an easy stretch.
  • Get to the point where you feel mild tension, relax and hold the stretch.
  • This tension will subside as you continue to hold the stretch.
  • If the tension doesn’t subside, ease up slightly to a more comfortable level of tension.
  • This stretch reduces muscle tightness and prepares the tissues for the developmental stretch.
  • DO NOT BOUNCE!

The Developmental Stretch

  • Now move slightly further until you feel a mild tension once again.
  • Hold the stretch there for 10-30 seconds.
  • Again, the tension should diminish – if not ease back slightly.
  • This stretch fine-tunes the muscles and helps increase flexibility.
  • Remember, be in control of your body and no bouncing.

Breathing

  • Your breathing should be slow and under control.
  • Exhale as you bend forward.
  • Breathe slowly as you hold the stretch.
  • Always breathe naturally. If you are unable to do this – then ease up on the stretch a bit.
  • DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATHE!

Counting

  • To start, count the 10-30 seconds silently.
  • After a while – you will perform your stretches by the way your muscles feel. You will know when it’s been 30 seconds.

The Stretch Reflex

  • The stretch reflex protects your muscles during a stretching exercise.
  • If the muscles are stretched too far – a nerve reflex sends a signal to the muscle telling it to contract or tighten.
  • This reflex/contraction prevents the muscle from getting injured.
  • Overstretching and bouncing activates the stretch reflex. This then tightens the muscle.
  • So…avoid these negative movements as they are actually tightening the muscles you are trying to stretch and loosen.
  • Avoid the no pain, no gain mentality.