Before fitness training, you must first perform warm-up or stretching exercises to prevent accidents and enhance output during training. Here are a few precautionary measures and tips to serve as guidelines when doing stretching exercises.
1. To increase your flexibility and to avoid injuries, stretch before and after working out. It’s common knowledge that stretching before workout prevents injuries during the exercises, but only few people know that stretching after workout, when muscles are still warm, can increase flexibility.
2. Hold your stretching position for more than 60 seconds to increase flexibility. While holding your position for 20 seconds is enough for warm ups, holding each position for at least 60 seconds will develop the body’s flexibility. Learn more about the benefit of flexibility training.
3. Do not bounce while stretching. Bouncing or forcing yourself into a position during stretching can strain or damage some joints or muscles. When stretching, hold that position for several seconds, and then slowly relax. You may do this stretch repeatedly this way.
4. Work gradually, increasing range of motion over time instead of immediately proceeding to the hardest variation of a position.
5. Make sure that you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups. Some people tend to neglect the neck when stretching. Stretching the neck muscles can be as simple as placing the palm of one’s hand against the front of the head and pushing it. Then, do the same to the sides and the back of the head.
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