Stretching is one of the most important activity to be done to avoid injury and get your postures correct, Stretching will keep you safe, sound and in good shape.
Dos and Donts
- Dont stretch for long. Studies have shown stretching a body part for 30 seconds and two minutes don’t produce any extra result. In fact intense stretches should be done for 15 seconds max to avoid muscle hypoxia. It is better to use multiple angles for shorter duration.
- Add in your strength workout one exercise which does passive stretching . For e.g.
- Chest – Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly
- Hamstring – Stiff Leg Deadlift
- Biceps – Incline Bench Dumbbell Curl
- Triceps – Seated Overhead tricep Extension
- Deltoids – One arm cable Lateral raises
- Dont Stretch first thing in the morning,
- Do static stretching to maintain flexibility but after your workout not before
- Do use traction when stretching to improve mobility. Maybe you can use a resistance band.
- Do stretch to improve your posture. Muscles shorten because of wrong posture. Like high heels result in shortened calf area. Or we spend most of our time seating. This tightens the hip flexor muscles.
- Stretch your tight muscles first as they can inhibit your ability to do full range exercise.
- Use gentle motion
- Dont hold your breathe during stretching as it will tense your muscles. Exhale more than you inhale while stretching
- Don’t believe that weight training will make you inflexible. Infant if will improve your flexibility.
- Do stretch your body part in-between sets which you are woking on.
- Dont negate a stretch by contracting that muscle immediately. Don’t do static stretching a muscle you are about to train, it may actually cause injury.
And don’t stretch if you are already flexible. Theres an inverse relation between stability and mobility. Its better to relax with a nice music and warm shower after the workout if you have a good flexible body.