DON’T Do This When Stretching!
“I can’t, I’m just not flexible enough.” This phrase is way over said. You CAN do it and you will! Everyone is capable of gaining flexibility which in return helps with healthy muscles and working out. On the other hand, we want you to make sure you’re doing it right. Recently we released a video of vital stretches for the neck, today we would like to talk to you about the top stretching mistakes. Many people are subject to these mistakes in the gym, office, classes, etc. Yet, there are three simple ways of fixing them.
The first mistake is stretching for too short of a period of time. Many people start to feel the slightest bit of pain and back out. That short period of time does not benefit the muscles at all. So how long should we stretch? We should stretch for at least 30 seconds, but ideally 30 seconds to a minute. Why? Because it takes 20 seconds for our bodies to realize that we want them to relax. During those first 20 seconds, our muscles are very confused and so by stopping after that short period, they gain no benefit.
2. Bouncing..Bouncing…and More Bouncing
The second mistake is something that you see people doing in the office, in the gym, everywhere, when going for a quick stretch. This activity is bouncing. Bouncing..bouncing..and more bouncing. You DON’T want to bounce because you want to send a very clear signal to your muscles that you want to relax and lengthen them. Through bouncing, you are getting your muscles very excited, almost as if getting activated to do something. Bouncing can also expose yourself to injuries and overall not gain the proper benefits of stretching.
3. When Pain Is NOT Gain
The third and final mistake is that most people are stretching too hard. Some people who have really stiff muscles, get a kick out of doing harsh stretches because they think it feels “so good.” This is actually harmful. You want to be gentle on your muscles. Too strong of stretches make your muscles vulnerable to tearing and creating microbreaks and trauma in the muscles. This can cause scar tissue buildup which prevent proper muscle function. So how hard do you want to stretch? First, you want to ease into the stretch and the first moment you start to feel the stretch, stay there. Gradually increase the intensity of the stretch as time prolongs instead of intense stretching from the start.
Gentle, prolonged, and static stretching is the best combination for your muscles. To gain the most beneficial stretch, keep these three tactics in mind! Flexibility is possible for anyone as long as you do it cautiously and continuously. Everyone stretch well and feel better!
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