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6 Common Stretching Mistakes You Need to Avoid

by Jessica Hernandez

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Stretching is an integral part of maintaining a flexible and active body. There are several ways on how you can integrate stretching into your everyday activities and even into your workout routines. The main point in stretching is to prepare the body for other activities by increasing the flexibility of the muscles and the joints.  

Stretching will help you get a better posture and it can also make you feel more comfortable in moving around. Your body needs a little stretching every day thanks to the oodles of benefits that it provides. However, some people are not really aware of the dangers that stretching may bring when it is not done properly.

Here are some common stretching mistakes that you need to avoid:


1. Not warming up before stretching




A proper warm-up will help prepare the body for exercise. This is needed before stretching because it will help regulate the blood flow needed by the muscles. One also needs to warm up to stretch and to loosen the joints. These points may not be very visible, but they should never be taken for granted. Not warming up before stretching may cause body pain and it may also limit your movement. Warm up for a few minutes before exercising or stretching and it will surely add to the effectiveness of your exercise.


2. Not stretching enough




Stretching will help the muscles relax and the joints to be flexible during the workout. Not stretching can be a cause of damage or injury. If the muscles are not yet prepared for exercise, there is an increased tendency for you to feel pain. There are different stretching techniques that you can consider. You should allow the first minutes of stretching. This is a need and it has to be done regularly.


3. Working on the wrong muscles




Using the wrong muscles may sound a bit complicated for some because how would you even know that you are stretching and warming up using the right one? There are some signs that you need to heed when you are stretching for you to know if you are using the wrong muscle. One of these is the pain that you feel in your calves. If it is painful and the pain does not go away then you are not doing it right. Another thing that needs to be checked is the cramps that you feel when you are carrying something or even while you are stretching or exercising. These are just indications that you are not performing well and that you need to check your posture and position.


4. Not paying attention to your breathing




Clearing the lungs is vital when exercising and even in stretching. This is one way of releasing the pressure and preparing yourself for the next part of your workout routine. Proper breathing does not only help you clear your lungs but will also help in balancing the oxygen and the carbon dioxide in the body. Pay attention to how you breathe when you are exercising and you will certainly get a better chance to do your routine perfectly. Breathing through the nose is recommended to make sure that the air going to the lungs is pure.


5. Trying to stretch everything




You do not have to stretch everything. Aside from being time-consuming, you will realize that it does not really help in the improvement that you are trying to reach. Stretching should be focused on bending the knees, moving the shoulders, moving your arms sideward and putting your leg with bent knees upward. These are the parts of the body where the muscles will be needed for exercise. You do not really have to stretch every part of the body.


6. Stretching injured muscles




If you have incurred an injury during exercise or while doing other activities, you need to stop stretching that part until it is healed. Contrary to the belief that stretching an injured muscle will help relieve it from pain, doing this can be a cause of an added injury. The injured muscles need time for healing. You have to let the muscle rest until such time that you are already sure that it has completely healed. You also need to ask your doctor for advice on which exercises you can perform without adding more damage to your body.


Stretching, when done correctly, will help you move freely. However, you need to know that even a simple stretch can cause damage to the muscles and even some parts of the body if not done correctly. And if you really want to make sure that stretching is effective for you, it has to be done regularly.


Get to know your body better and take stretching to the next level on a yoga meditation retreat!

Read more tips on how nutrition helps your muscles on gottahavefit.com.

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