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Basic Principles Of Stretching

What is Flexibility? Flexibility is the range of possible motion around a joint and its surrounding muscles.  The factors affecting flexibility are:

  • joint structure
  • muscle bulk
  • age and gender
  • connective tissue
  • frequency and duration
  • activity level

Why is a pre-workout pre-stretch warm up important? It only takes a few minutes to properly stretch, and stretching will:

  • decreases your chance of a muscle tear or injury
  • lubricates joints
  • increases deep muscle temperature
  • warm muscles exhibit greater flexibility
  • increases blood flow to muscles that are working
  • stretched muscles generate more force
  • increases your range of motion
  • improves your recovery time
  • decreases soreness

When should you stretch?

  • after a 5 -10 minute warm up and before your work out
  • after completion of exercise

All stretches should be done before you leave the gym, while muscles are still warm and before soreness sets in.

What should you stretch? All muscle groups that have been used in your workout.

How should you stretch?  Stretching should be without any bouncing. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, up to 1 minute if you are sore.  Your muscles have a natural reflex that wants to resist the stretch. This lasts for about 20 seconds, so be sure to stretch each muscle for a minimum of 20 seconds to get the benefits of stretching.

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