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5 Quick Tips for Your Stretches to Increase Flexibility

I teach stretches to increase flexibility a little differently than a stretch you might do after a warm up.

I have found that the most effective way to increase flexibility is to hold a stretch for 1-3 minutes.

But hold on…before I go any further on stretching let’s talk about our core philosophy here at Flexible Athlete.  Our Focused Flexibility Training system teaches us to first release any muscle fiber knots before we stretch.

If you haven’t read anything Julie’s written about releasing muscle knots start here.  She uses a simple analogy that’s easy to understand.

My stretching background comes from the Yoga tradition so let me give you a few tips from that perspective.

5 Quick Tips for Your Stretches to Increase Flexibility

  1. It is best to stretch when your muscles are cool.  Because you’ll be holding the stretch for 1-3 minutes this allows your body’s mechanisms to focus on sending blood and oxygen to your muscles versus digesting your lunch (for example!).

  2. Best time is early in the morning or before bed.

  3. Only stretch to the point where you feel resistance.  Moving beyond this point before your muscle naturally allows it could cause injury.  Your body will tell you when you can go deeper.

  4. Be okay with being uncomfortable!  Stretching for 1-3 minutes can some times feel like 10!  If you are committed to increasing your flexibility you’ve got to get okay with being a little uncomfortable.  However, if you are feeling pain let go of the stretch.

  5. Stretch in this way 1 to 5 days a week.

 

In future posts I’ll give you some sample stretches for particular muscle groups.  For now, any muscle you would like to lengthen you can use these tips along with the muscle knot releases we teach.  If you need help with how to release muscle knots we have a DVD system and an eBook for guidance.

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