athlete stretching safely

Stretching is a good way to improve your flexibility, mobility, and range of motion. It also helps in preventing muscle soreness, lowers your risk of injury and promotes good blood circulation. Unfortunately, if not done correctly, you run the risk of long-term harm. Lucky for you, we have some tips on stretching safely that can help you avoid injury.

Stretch on a Daily Basis

Make stretching apart of your daily routine. This helps to improve your balance, flexibility, and stamina.

Warm Up

It’s important to do a 10 minute warmup before beginning your stretching routine. This includes activities such as  jogging, jumping jacks or riding a stationary bicycle for a few minutes.  

Strike a Pose and Stretch

Whether it is bending and touching your toes or attempting the backward facing dog, try to hold a sustained stretching position for 10-30 seconds. Your body will thank you.

Pain with No Gain

Do not stretch to the point of pain. Any sign of extreme discomfort means you are not doing it right. Only stretch to the point of minimal discomfort.

Breathe

While stretching, do not attempt to hold your breath or experiment with breathing exercises. This could make your routine more difficult than it needs to be. This could also reduce your ability to hold a sustained stretch.

Switch Up your Routine

Try new stretching positions to keep things fun and interesting. Participating in a group fitness session or yoga class are great ways to learn and experiment with new positions.

Balance

All muscles need some love, so work on your different muscle groups within each of your routines. If you stretch the muscles at the back of your thighs be sure to stretch the muscles in the front as well.

Keep it Simple

Each of our bodies is built differently. Not all of us are ballet dancers, gymnasts  or body contortionists. Keep your routines simple; attempting to a stretching exercise you’ve seen on the internet may result in serious injuries.

Seek Professional Help

Check in with your personal trainer, instructor or doctor if you have pre existing injuries for advice. This will help in assessing which stretching routines are safe and helps to prevent future injuries.  

Looking for a fitness program that fits your lifestyle? Try a free class with a fitness professional at PumpFit Club and see what we have to offer!