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6 Ways to Improve Flexibility, Part 3: Hold that stretch!

6 Jun 2008

When you’ve completed a flexibility evaluation specific to your goals and needs, the results will help determine the right exercise prescription for you.

Most flexibility programs include static stretches, especially if you’re just starting to work out for the first time.

Static flexibility is what most exercisers are familiar with when it comes to flexibility work. Most of us are familiar with the benefits:

  • Stretching out at the end of a work out will help reduce next-day soreness.
  • In general, holding a stretch will help loosen up muscles that feel stiff.
  • Static stretches are often the introduction and foundation to flexibility for beginners.

There are a lot of other flexibility techniques involved in reaching your goals, but static stretches are the safest, easiest and most convenient to perform, requiring often only your own bodyweight.

You can continue stretching out at the end of your workout, but for very tight muscle groups (which you will find during your evaluation), you can also stretch them out in the beginning after a warm-up. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds so your muscles adapt to changes in tension and length.

In the long-term, static stretches will help reduce tightness and increase your range of motion as part of a flexibility program that integrates dynamic, active, and assisted stretches along with self-myofascial release.

What? Continue reading for more on these other equally important components to your program.


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