Optimum Stretching

Posted by Goggles N More on 28th Sep 2015

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Every productive workout should include a low-intensity, cardiovascular workout, followed by a stretching routine, that will increase athletic performance, reduce the likelihood of injury, and spare some of the muscle soreness associated with exercise.

1. Stretch within your limits (don't compare yourself with other). When you begin a stretch, the first 15-20 seconds should be "easy", allowing the muscles to relax. The stretch should become gradually more intense (but should never be painful). Hold the stretch for another 15-20 seconds.

2. Make sure your breathing is rhythmic and under control (don't hold your breath). Exhale as the stretch becomes more intense.

3. Stay away from bouncing, or ballistic stretching. This activates the stretch reflex, which is a protective reflex mechanism of the muscle that decreases the chance of injury with sudden movements (i.e. whiplash). Bouncing contracts the stretched muscles, which may result in muscle injury.

Remember, there is a difference between stretching and pain. Stretch to the point of an easy tension, then exhale and stretch a little further until you can feel a mild "stretch" of the muscle. The point of pre and post workout stretching is to elongate and relax the muscle tissue, a muscle that is extended fully can do more work than a short tense muscle. Completing your workout with stretching will decrease soreness, promote rapid muscle recovery and allow more productive exercise sessions.

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