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10 Things You Should Know About Stretching

Before fitness training, one must give importance to warm-up or stretching exercises to prevent accidents or enhance the output during the training. There are also several precautionary measures and tips to serve as guidelines when doing fitness exercises. Here are some of them.

1. To increase your flexibility and avoid injuries, stretch before and after the workout. Almost everyone knows that trying before an activity prevents injuries during the exercises. However, few know that stretching after a workout when muscles are still warm can increase flexibility.

2. Hold your stretching position for more than 60 seconds to increase flexibility. While holding your position for 20 seconds is enough for warm-ups, holding each position for at least 60 seconds will develop the body’s flexibility.

3. Do not go into a stretching position; immediately return to the relaxed position, and do it repeatedly. This is more appropriately termed as bouncing while in a post. Hold that position for several seconds when stretching, and then slowly relax. You may do this exercise repeatedly this way. Bouncing or forcing yourself into a position during stretching can strain or damage some joints or muscles.

4. Work slowly in increments instead of immediately doing the most demanding exercise or position.

5. Make sure you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups. Some people, even if they have muscular bodies, they tend to neglect the neck when working out of stretching. Stretching the neck muscles can be as simple as placing the palm of one’s hand against the front of the head and pushing it. Then, do the same to the head’s sides and back.

6. Stretch regularly to continually increase your range of movements and level of flexibility and strength.

7. Workout considering only your capabilities and not of others. Do not force yourself to do exercises you are not yet capable of just because there are people who can do them. Increase your limits slowly. Listen to your body. There are days when your body may be too tired that you may have to consider reducing your range of motion.

8. Learn to rest. Rest between sets and stations to ensure the body has enough time to recover energy. Also, you shouldn’t work for the same muscle groups consecutively for two days. The muscles grow during the period when you rest and not when you are working out.

9. Do aerobic exercises to strengthen your heart. Aerobic exercises are those physical activities that use much oxygen for fuel. This includes cardiovascular exercises such as skipping rope, running, or swimming.

10. Music may help you when you want to train for more extended periods or to increase your intensity. You can use mp3 players, CD players, or lightweight radio receivers. Just ensure you bring your headset with you, so you don’t disturb people who don’t prefer music while exercising.

Apart from preventing injuries and increasing one’s limit, stretching is also said to be suitable for a tired body and a stressed mind and spirit.