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Static stretching should be an important part of your training program to prevent injuries and prepare your muscles for your workout. Static stretching has several benefits; for example, it relieves soreness, improves muscle imbalances, improves flexibility and expands joint range of motion. A safe form of stretching, it also helps the muscles relax.
To get the most out of your stretching routine, I recommend selecting one stretch per muscle group. If you perform too many stretches for the same muscle group, you will end up overstretching and wasting your time. Hold each stretch for a slow count of 20 to 40, and continue your normal breathing pattern.
Static stretching should not cause you to strain or hold your breath. When performing a stretch, go as far as you comfortably can and hold the stretch. Perform static stretching both before and after your exercise program. When performed before a workout, hold the stretches for less time to prevent too much relaxing of the muscle before intense activity.
How to use static stretching in your current workouts:
- Foam Roll. If you know how to foam roll, do it first. If you do not have a roller, a tennis ball works just as well
- Pick one exercise per muscle, stretch slowly and hold the stretch for 20 seconds
- Dynamic Warm-up
Static stretching can be used after workouts, because during your workouts your muscles are contracting to create force, which causes them to shorten. Performing a few static stretches after your workout when your muscles are warm will help them return to their normal length. Expand your warm-up through STACK's library of stretches.