How To Stretch: Do’s, Don’ts, & Tips

how to stretches Dec 22, 2015

I receive a lot of questions on the Do’s and Don’ts of stretching.

Read all of the below and I’m hoping it will answer your questions!

Leave comments or questions below 🙂  

The Right Way to Stretch
-Breathe easily and deeply into your back ribs
-Relax
-Tune into your body, and only think of the stretch
-Be guided by your breath
-No bouncing!
-No sharp pains!
 
How NOT to Stretch
-Holding your breath
-Being in a hurry
-Not being focused on your body
-Stretching while tense
-Bouncing
-Stretching to the point of sharp, strained pain
 
Two Phases 
There are two phases of each stretch: the maintenance stretch and the developmental stretch. They are done one after the other.
 
The Maintenance Stretch: 
Stretch until you feel a slight mild tension and hold for 10 seconds. Relax. As you hold the stretch, the feeling of tension should diminish. If it doesn’t, ease off slightly into a more comfortable stretch. The easy stretch maintains flexibility, loosens muscles and tight tendons, and reduces muscle tension.
 
The Developmental Stretch: 
Now, move an inch deeper into the stretch until you feel mild tension again. Hold for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Again, the feeling should decrease or stay the same. If tension increases or becomes painful, you are overstretching – back off into a more comfortable stretch. The developmental stretch further reduces tension and INCREASES flexibility.
 
Tips to keep in mind: 
-Always stretch within your limits, never to the point of feeling sharp pains
-Breathe deeply in and out through the nose in a steady controlled paced. Never hold your breath.
-Be patient, and take your time. You are better off doing less stretches for longer if you are short on time.
-Do not compare yourself to everyone you see online. We all have our own path.
-The longer you hold the stretch, the less tense the stretch becomes. Not the opposite.
-Let your breath ease the tension of intense stretches. Imagine air breaking up and loosening tight muscles.
 
How far should I stretch? 
Everybody is different. Be guided by how it feels. No sharp pains. If the pain increases then you are overstretching. The tension should ease the longer you hold.
 
When should I feel a difference? 
You should feel a difference immediately because you will release tension throughout your body. You will notice a difference in your flexibility after you adapt a repetitive daily program for at least 3-4 weeks.
 
Feeling inspired to stretch?

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