Stretching is vital to your health, especially before and after a workout. Stretching will keep your muscles flexible, critical to maintaining a range of motion in the joints.

Performing the wrong type of stretch can minimize the technique’s effect and cause an injury. Take a look at these common stretching mistakes to learn how you can best remedy them.

Here are a few of the worst and common stretching mistakes to learn how to remedy them:

  1. Holding your breath – Correctly breathing while stretching is an essential aspect of stretching. It may feel natural to hold your breath while you stretch, but it will keep your muscles contracted and tense. Taking deep breaths throughout your stretch will keep your muscles stretching and not remaining tense. Take a deep breath before your stretch and as your stretching, breathe out deeply as you feel your muscles pull.
  2. Stretching too long – No stretch should be longer than 10-30 seconds, 2-3 times a week. Overstretching your muscles by stretching them too long can cause straining.
  3. Being forceful – Feeling discomfort during a stretch is normal, feeling sharp pains are not. Forcing a stretch farther than it should be can cause muscle tears and damage to ligaments and joints.
  4. Picking the wrong stretch – There are two main types of stretches, dynamic and static. Dynamic stretches are when there is a steady movement of a muscle back and forth. Static stretches are when the muscles are pulled to the point of discomfort. A dynamic stretch will help you more before physical activity. When you pick your stretches out for before and after your workouts, be sure to pick the right stretches for the physical activity.
  5. Stretching without warming up – Warming up will increase your muscles’ blood flow and temperature, which will help with a static stretching session and improve your blood flow. A 5-10 minute warm-up will reproduce the movements of the workout, preparing your body for proper stretches.

At Carolina Rehab, we understand the importance of stretches in your recovery. We will provide you with expert knowledge and proper exercises to get you back to moving.

thumbnail courtesy of livestrong.com