Safe Stretching

How to stretch:
There are two ways to stretch…a right way and a wrong way! The right way is a relaxed and sustained stretch with your attention on the muscles being stretched. The wrong way is to bounce up and down or stretch to the point of pain.
During a pre-workout stretch, spend about 10-30 seconds in what is called an easy stretch. There should be no bouncing. Get to the point where you feel mild tension and relax as you hold the stretch. Do not hold your breath while stretching. Your breathing should be slow, rhythmical and under control. The easy stretch will reduce muscular tightness and prepares the muscle tissue for your workout.
During a post workout stretch, start with the easy stretch and then move slowly into a developmental stretch. This stretch will fine tune the muscles and increase flexibility. At this stage, you should move a fraction of an inch further than the easy stretch until you feel mild tension. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds or longer to get the maximum benefit. Remember to breathe naturally and relax as you hold the stretch.
1. never force a stretch
2. never stretch a cold muscle before a workout. warm muscles are much safer to stretch
3. stretch every muscle group before exercising
4. never hold your breath when stretching
5. do NOT bounce when stretching. Perform slow and controlled movements

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