The Importance of Stretching

April 1, 2022

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Flexibility Tips and Tricks 

Stretching is actually a lot more beneficial than you might have thought, so I wouldn’t suggest skipping it before your workout. According to the Mayo Clinic stretching helps with your joint range of motion and athletic performance as well as prevents injury more often than not. Research has proven that stretching improves flexibility which in turn can empower your muscles so that they work as effective as possible during physical activity. An increase of blood flow to your muscles is another benefit of stretching to consider, so why not make it a habit before hockey practice, or a hike, or even after dance. Your agility and flexibility will never be better if you add this practice to your workout routine! 

I have included some tips and tricks below to keep in mind before stretching… 

  • Stretching is not a warmup: It is best to go for a light walk, jog, or bike ride before stretching as you may injure yourself if you stretch your muscles out when they’re cold.  

  • Symmetry: Having equal flexibility on each side of your body is crucial to avoid any harm on your body. Everyone is different so don’t over strain yourself. 

  • Major Muscle Groups: Focus on stretching both sides of your major muscle groups like calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck, or shoulders.  

  • Bouncing: Don’t do it while stretching as it can cause bodily injuries, stay smooth and current. 

  • Hold the stretch: Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, 60 seconds for problem areas and remember to breathe easy. 

  • No Pain: You shouldn’t overextend yourself when stretching, feel tension not pain.  

          For more stretching information you can visit the Mayo Clinic website I linked above. Remember these tips and tricks the next time you stretch for a more successful and empowered work out. Email us at healthy.unh@unh.edu with any tips on stretching you have discovered during your own workout journey!

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