- Warm-up before stretching to increase blood flow to muscles and to raise muscle temperature, which in turn makes muscles more supple than they are when cold.
- Move slowly into a stretch until you feel slight resistance in the muscle(s) you are stretching. You should never feel pain. Go only as far as is comfortable and take it slowly. Mild discomfort or a mild pulling sensation is normal.
- Stop immediately if you feel pain
- Perform static stretching Ballistic stretching (bouncing) or fast movement can cause injury if performed incorrectly
- Hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds (and not more than 60 seconds)
- Breathe slowly and deeply while holding the stretch. Deep breathing promotes relaxation and circulation while reducing muscular tension.
- Relax. Don’t use effort to hold a stretch, but allow muscles to completely relax.
- Stretch regularly – at the end of every exercise session, or at least 3 times per week, and every day for best results.
Stretches by Body Part