Are you stretching your muscles correctly?

Over the past several decades, the benefits of static stretching have been a source of confusion for fitness and athletic experts.  First stretching was said to be very beneficial to health and sports performance, by increasing flexibility, improving performance, and reducing injuries.  But later research said otherwise – that static stretching did not improve performance or reduce risk of injury. In fact, static stretching was said to actually be detrimental sports performance. This led to a rise in dynamic stretching – stretches done at high speed through large ranges of motion.

Currently, there has been more research conducted that contradicts the notion that static stretching is detrimental to athletic performance. However, static stretching is safest and most beneficial when done after an aerobic warm-up, and when dynamic stretching is also incorporated. Done the right way, static stretching may reduce muscle strain injury risk.

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