While many people skip stretching altogether, stretching is an essential part of a workout. Not only does stretching increasing your flexibility and range of motion, it improves performance and keeps you safe from injuries. But not all stretching is created equal and when it’s done incorrectly, it can put you at risk for injury. These are the most common mistakes people make when stretching. Are you making any of these mistakes?
Performing Static Stretches Before Exercise
Contrary to popular belief, static stretches should only be done after a workout. Performing static stretches before a workout can lead to muscle fatigue, which decreases performance and can lead to injuries.
Not Holding Stretches Long Enough
Many of us rush through stretches, but if you want to get the full benefit of stretching, you need to hold them for 20 to 30 seconds at least.
Using Incorrect Technique
To get the most out of stretches, you had to use proper technique. Two stretches that many people do wrong are the forward fold and the standing quadricep stretch. For the forward hold, you should be folding from the hops and letting your body hang toward the ground, giving your hamstrings and back a nice stretch. In the quad stretch, your knee should be in line with your hip and you should be standing up straight.
Stretching Injured Muscles
Stretching injured tissue can make it take longer to heal. Instead, you should be stretching muscles adjacent to the injured muscle, so they don’t get stiff.