A trip to the stretching studio is one of the nicest things that you can do to your body. Aside from helping your tired muscles recover fast, stretching them can also increase your flexibility, reduce your risk of injury, and improve your overall performance. However, many of those who prefer to stretch their bodies without the help of a certified stretch practitioner end up doing their bodies more harm than good.
Things That Shouldn’t Be Done When You’re Stretching
Stretching the Wrong Muscles
One of the most common mistakes that people make when they’re stretching is when they focus on the wrong muscles. For example, after an intense upper body workout, you shouldn’t be focusing on your quads and hamstrings. This means that you’ll need to stretch the muscles that did all of the hard work.
Holding Your Breath
Focusing on your breathing can be a little tricky when you’re stretching. However, when you hold your breath while you’re stretching, you increase your chances of straining your muscles. For this reason, you’ll need to relax and breathe deeply as you stretch.
Moving Too Fast When Stretching
Did you know that rushing your cool down can increase your risk for injury? Aside from this, moving too fast while you’re stretching is only a waste of time because your stretches won’t be significant. It’s best to hold each stretching position for about 10 to 20 seconds. Your muscles should be rewarded for doing a great job by helping them release the built-up lactic acid.
Doing Painful Stretches
Proper stretching should feel good, and it shouldn’t be painful. Each time you stretch, a controlled speed needs to be maintained so that you won’t tear or pull your muscles. If any muscle hurts while you’re stretching, be sure to stop immediately.
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