What is the correct way to stretch?

It's no secret that stretching is important in preventing injuries and increasing flexibility. Although stretching is especially important as part of a workout routine, we should aim to stretch on a regular basis to maximize our range of motion.

Contrary to popular belief, it's proven that stretching before working out poses more harm than good, as it may damage the inflexible muscle fibres that haven't been warmed up. Therefore, it is important to do a light activity such as a light jog or walk to trigger blood flow around the body before stretching or intense activity.

There are two main types of stretches that you can incorporate: dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic stretching includes movements such as high kicks, lunges with twists and other movements that are movement-based. Static stretching, on the other hand, includes poses such as quad stretches, toe-touching, etc. Dynamic stretching has been said to deliver more benefits as it increases blood flow and is more effective in preventing injury.

ELAVAIT recommends you include dynamic and static stretches, and hold static stretches for 2 minutes. Too often, people do not hold the stretch long enough, which prevents significant change in the length and strength of connective tissue and causes the muscle spindles to retract.

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