How Long Should I Stretch For?

If you know you need a pre-workout stretching routine or simply want a workout to improve your flexibility, you may be confused on how long to do each and how long to hold a stretch. Those are all good questions that can confuse a lot of people. Stretching is best know for warming up for a workout or cooling down after it’s done. There are two types of stretches used for that, dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic stretching and static stretching. Dynamic stretching is active, like walking lunges. Static stretching is a stretch and hold technique, like a side stretch.

Why are dynamic and static stretches important.

Dynamic stretches are best for warming up and static stretches are important for a cool down. Dynamic stretches get the blood circulating and prepare your muscles for activity. It helps improve agility, speed and helps tighten the muscles, while moving the muscles through their peak range of motion, while decreasing stiffness and increasing muscle temperature. Static stretching pushes muscles to the maximum range of motion before pain starts and that position is held for approximately 30 seconds. These are best done after a workout, since they relax the muscles and reduces the body’s ability to react quickly.

There are recommended times for stretching to warm up or cool down.

When you’re doing warm up stretches, you’re preparing your body gradually for a touch activity by increasing your blood flow to your muscles. A good warm up routine should last about ten minutes and works all parts of the body. If you’ve been running, just walking for ten minutes is a cool down, but stretching is even better. It helps get the heart back to normal rate and lowers the blood pressure. It should also be done for approximately five to ten minutes.

Stretching for flexibility should also be part of your routine.

You should include stretching and flexibility exercises in your workout three to five times a week. Make sure you stretch every muscle group. As you stretch, you need to breathe slowly and hold the stretch approximately 30 seconds, although if it’s hard for you, start at 10 seconds and work up to 30seconds, repeating each move from three to five times. Always keep your stretch smooth and not bouncy or jerky. That can be a recipe for injury.

  • The more flexible you become, the more you should push yourself in each workout. While it’s quite normal to feel a pulling sensation, never continue if there’s a sharp muscle or joint pain.
  • Keep your joints slightly bent, rather than in a straight locked position. You’ll prevent injury by doing that. If you do much strength training, stretching is particularly important to prevent injury.
  • You can create a stretching routine that you do throughout the day, focusing on different parts of the body. It will decrease muscle stiffness, increase range of motion, reduce the risk of injury and help with aches and pains.
  • Stretching can also help improve your posture and lower the amount of stress you feel. It improves overall functional performance and muscle efficiency. Not only does it help circulation, after stretching for a while, you’ll find that back pain tends to disappear.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club

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