In order to get the most from your workouts and to train safely, you must be flexible. The best way to achieve flexibility is to stretch.
Stretching before and after the training session helps to avoid injuries and your muscles to recover. No matter of you do fitness or bodybuilding, you have to do it. It keeps your joints and muscles healthy, you will have less pain after training. It is the best prevention of a sports injury. Having better flexibility also helps to increase you physical strength and do exercises properly.
Most of the people do not do safe stretching or does not spend enough time on it. Personally, I do it after warming up for about 5-8 minutes and after training for 10 minutes.
Below you can find 8 stretching tips how to do stretching effectively. I always use these techniques, and they work really efficiently.
Deep Breathing when You Expand Your Muscles
During the motion, I always concentrate on my breath. When I do the extension movement, I breathe in. I try to keep the air in during the whole extension which is about 15-30 seconds. I breath out when the time is over. Controlled breathing also helps to calm down after the training and to lower my pulse.
Warm Up Before Stretching
Doing warm up exercises is crucial before starting your training session. A big mistake is to do stretching exercises with cold muscles and joints. If you stretch your muscles too early, that may cause injuries. Do warm up exercises and do it then.
RelatedHere are some tips on how to do warming up properly.
Hold the Position for Minimum 15 Seconds
The time depends on your flexibility, but even if you are a beginner, try to keep the position for at least 15 minutes. As you gain more flexibility, you can increase the time to 30 – 45 seconds. Static stretch is one of the best ways to extend your muscles. You may feel a little pain, but that means you expand your muscles well.
I do not do lengthening workouts right after I finish the last exercise. I wait 3-5 minutes to calm down. This way I can concentrate on the exercises and not on my breathing. Do the motions slowly and gradually. Do not rush.
Do Stretches Daily
If you feel your are not flexible, you can do stretches on those days when you do not train, but do not forget to warm up before. You do not need to do too many exercises, just one for each of your muscle groups or body parts. If you have some time and want to calm down, relax, do yoga and do some stretches.
Do the Exercises Properly
In order to get the best results, spend time on learning how to do the workouts properly. If you do them badly, they may not help to reach the level of flexibility you want or can cause injuries. To prevent injuries always follow the guidelines made by experts.
Avoid Quick Motions
Do the exercises slowly and carefully and avoid quick motions. You have to lengthen your muscles gradually and slowly.
Stretch Your Whole Body
No matter what sorts of muscle group you have trained, stretch your entire body. You may spend more time on the trained parts, but it is never bad if you stretch other muscles.
Stretching Exercises and Workouts
Below I have collected the best videos in which you can learn many efficient moves that increase your flexibility. I put together a playlist so you can find various types of routines and movements.
Overall, if you want to do exercises properly, you need to be flexible. If you follow the mentioned tips above, your stretching routine will be more effective. Plus it is the best technique to avoid an injury.
Which is better? Static or dynamic stretching?
Both of theme are good, but the best is if you combine them. Start with dynamic stretching exercises and once your muscles warmed, you can continue with static activities.