Stretching Routines


By Erin Irish

Stretching routines are different for every person. There are general guidelines to follow, but once a person has stretched for a while, he or she will discover what routine works best. Some stretching experts believe that stretches should be held for two seconds and repeated eight to ten times. Others suggest the stretch be held for ten seconds and repeated two to five times. A stretch should be held from two to ten seconds and should be repeated up to ten times, but not fewer than two times, depending on how long the stretch is held. The longer a stretch is held, the fewer repetitions are necessary, but the shorter a stretch is held, the more repetitions are needed. Stretching for two seconds and repeating ten times is recommended because when stretching a muscle, its counterpart relaxes, and the shorter it’s held and the more repetitions used, the more blood and oxygen can be circulated. It’s also a safe range of motion for the muscles. Every person needs to determine what is best for his or her own stretching routine. There is no exact guideline because every person’s muscles are different.

Stretch before and after the exercise or sport. Take a walk or light run for three to five minutes before stretching. After the activity, direct the stretching to the muscles used most or that are the most tense. It is important to stretch before an activity, but it is also important to stretch afterward. If that isn’t an option, stretching at night before bed is recommended.

Flexibility routines or stretching routines can also aid in weight loss because stretching can burn calories. Stretching, even though it’s light activity, can lead to more intense activity, and it is better than being sedentary.


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