Here are six great tips for when you are stretching. These can help protect your joints and muscles whilst ensuring flexibility gains.
- Warm up first – Much like taffy, muscles stretch more easily when warm. You can begin by marching in place with arms swinging for five minutes or dancing to a few songs. Moist heat packs or a warm shower are effective first steps, too.
- Feel no pain – Stretch only to the point of mild tension, never to the point of pain. If a stretch hurts, stop immediately! Reset your position carefully after checking the instructions, then try again.
- Pay attention to posture and good form – Posture counts whether you’re sitting, standing, or moving. Good form translates to better gains in flexibility and less likelihood of injury when stretching tight muscles.
- Focus on the muscle being stretched – You’ll notice that one side of your body often is tighter than the other. Work on balancing this over time.
- Breathe comfortably while stretching, or use yoga breathing.
- Practice often – You’ll make the best gains if you stretch frequently—daily, or on as many days of the week as possible. At the very least, aim to do stretches two or three times a week.
Tips taken from Harvard Medical 101 Health Tips