Flexibility training involves activities that aim to stretch your muscles until they’re relaxed and loosened. Several factors affect an individual’s flexibility, including:
Stretching can improve posture
Stretching can decrease back pain
Stretching can help prevent injury
Stretching is a very simple but effective way to increase mental health
Static stretching is when you slowly stretch a muscle/tendon group and hold the position for a period of time (i.e. 10-30 seconds).
Static stretching can be active or passive.
Stretches are typically repeated 2-4 times for a total of 60 seconds of stretching per muscle.
It is important to know when to stretch. Stretching can be incorporated as part of a regular cool down at the end of an exercise session. Caution is needed when stretching a fatigued muscle after a training session. If you feel that your muscles are fatigued and weakened, you can perform a light stretch but do NOT stretch to the point of discomfort. Doing so can make you more susceptible to muscle and tendon strains. Joint range of motion can be improved after about 3-4 weeks of regular stretching at a frequency of at least 2-3 times each week.
Remember stretching can promote flexibility, good posture, and relieve pain and/or stress. Talk to your doctor or a health care provider if you have any concerns about stretching.
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