How to Avoid Stretching Injuries

Black woman stretching
Before you begin, increase your body temperature by slowly marching or running in place. Sweat signals that you’re ready to start stretching.

Don’t force body parts beyond their normal range of motion. Stretch to the point of tension, back off, and hold for ten seconds to a minute.

Do a minimum of four repetitions of each stretch, with equal repetitions on each side.

Don’t hold your breath. Continue breathing slowly and rhythmically throughout your stretching routine.

Don’t attempt to stretch a weak or injured muscle.

Start small. Work the muscles of the smaller joints in the arms and legs first and then work the larger joints like the shoulders and hips.

Stretch individual muscles before you stretch a group of muscles, for instances, the ankle, knee, and hip before a stretch that works all three.

Don’t make any quick, jerky movements while stretching.

Stretches should be gentle and smooth.

Certain positions can be harmful to the knees and lower back. In particular, avoid stretches that require deep knee bends or full squats, because they can harm your knees and lower back.
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