It prepares the
body for activity - it signals to the muscles that they
are about to be used.
It reduces the risk
of muscle injury
It prevents post
exercise stiffness and soreness
It restores full
flexibility after an injury which means a faster return
It improves performance in your sport by increasing co-ordination and range of movement
It reduces muscle tension making the body feel more relaxed
It promotes circulation
and it feels good!
When to Stretch?
At this stage in your training you should have developed
a daily 10 minute stretching routine. Before training,
stretching is most effective if carried out after 5 - 10
minute warm up. Warming up increases the blood flow to
the muscles and prepares the body for the ensuing sporting
activity. After you exercise, it is advisable to do a
10 - 15 minute cool down and then to carry out your stretches
How To Stretch?
Stretching is easy to learn, but there is a right and
a wrong way to stretch.
The right way: a relaxed, sustained stretch with your
attention focused on the muscles being stretched.
The wrong way: bouncing up and down or stretching into
pain. This actually strains the muscle and also activates
a stretch reflex which makes the muscles contract/tighen
instead of stretching out.
Stretch until you
feel a mild tension in the muscle relax and hold for
Your breathing should be slow and
under control - do not hold your breath.
Do not stretch into
pain - it is not a case of "no pain - no gain"
Do not jerk or bounce
Repeat at least 3
times on each side
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