Stretching Advice

If you're looking for some simple stretching advice along with some great tips, exercises to do when you're warming up and additional ideas to help you prepare for a workout, then look no further.

The Netfit Members area has the largest online resource of stretching advice, with over 200 stretches sports specific warm-up routines stretches for everyday life.

Tips For Stretching

The aims of stretching are to gently lengthen muscles before and after any form of exercise, and to improve tissue elasticity / flexibility. If done correctly, stretching will help prevent injuries and increase athletic performance.

The following key points should be remembered whilst stretching:
 

  • Begin with gradual mobility exercises of all the joints, i.e. simply rotate the wrists, bend the arm and roll your shoulders. This will allow the body's natural lubrication (synovial fluid) to protect the surface of your bones at these joints.
     
  • Always warm up the body prior to stretching, as this increases blood flow around the body, which in turn makes the muscles more supple.
     
  • After exercise, slowly bring your heart rate down before you begin stretching in order to avoid blood pooling within your muscles, which can lead to cramp and dizzy spells.
     
  • If you’re wet and sweaty, take a bath or shower then stretch, as the hot water will help relax the muscles, and prevent you from catching a chill.
     
  • Never bounce whilst you stretch, unless you are doing specific stretches for certain sports, i.e. ballistic stretching for martial arts.
     
  • Hold the stretch until you feel the muscle loosen off, then repeat for a further 15 seconds.
     
  • Whilst stretching you should feel some slight discomfort, if you don’t feel anything, then you may be doing the stretch incorrectly, or simply the muscle has eased off.
     
  • Stop immediately if you feel any severe pain.
     
  • Remember to breathe regularly and rhythmically, do not hold your breath.
     
  • If you have a bad memory, start with your legs, and work up the body, in order not to miss out any of the stretches.
     

So for stretching advice and ideas, all you need do is let netfit.co.uk guide you through the basics and then you can choose your path from there. For correct techniques for abdominal exercises check out the next abs article for some great tips.

As well as recommending the above areas, why not also check out our aerobics and aerobic exercises, strength training exercise training including advice on warming up, warm up stretches and how to warm up guide.