The aims of stretching are to gently lengthen muscles before
and after any form of exercise, and to improve tissue elasticity /
flexibility. If done correctly, stretching will help prevent injuries and
increase athletic performance.
following key points should be remembered
Begin with gradual
mobility exercises of all the joints, i.e. simply rotate the wrists,
bend the arm and roll your shoulders. This will allow the body's natural
lubrication (synovial fluid) to protect the surface of your bones at
If youíre wet and
sweaty, take a bath or shower then stretch, as the hot water will help
relax the muscles, and prevent you from catching a chill.
Whilst stretching you
should feel some slight discomfort, if you donít feel anything, then you
may be doing the stretch incorrectly, or simply the muscle has eased
If you have a bad
memory, start with your legs, and work up the body, in order not to miss
out any of the stretches.
Your warm-up is
the key to unlocking tight muscles, which is the cause of injury. Hold each stretch for
a minimum of 10-20 seconds, breathing slowly through your nose, aiming to
exhale out through your mouth as you ease into the stretch.
Once you have finished any form of physical activity, you should
gradually allow your heart rate and breathing to lower to a comfortable level,
where talking can be performed with ease. Light aerobic exercise such as walking
or easy indoor cycling are good, as both of these will allow you to hydrate
yourself and also put on warm clothing. Hold each stretch for a minimum
of 10-20 seconds, breath comfortably, with deep breathes through your nose, and
out via your mouth.
Flexibility Exercise Library