Stretching is a crucial component in your fitness routine, and like weight training, it has its own set of do’s and don’ts. Proper stretching will decrease your risk of injury and increase blood flow to the muscle, but do it the wrong way, and you can actually cause damage. Let’s take a peek at the Do’s and Don’ts of stretching.
- Always stretch post-workout when your muscles are warm, not before. Just a few simple stretches will reduce your muscle soreness the subsequent day.
- Stretch your tighter muscles in-between lifting reps.
- Stretch with control and target certain muscles.
- Breathe! Always inhale and exhale deeply when you stretch.
- Hold a stretch (particularly intense, deep stretches) for longer than 15 seconds
- Stretch right when you wake up in the morning, as your spine fills with fluid as you sleep, and could possible result in back injury
- After targeting and stretching a certain muscle, don’t immediately contract that muscle afterward. This will negate the progress you just made with this muscle. Always stretch the muscle after you work it out!