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Dos and Don'ts of Stretching

Dos and Don'ts of Stretching

Have you been stretching? Stretching is one part of exercising that a lot of us let slip out of our routine. The thing is that stretching is actually really, really good for injury prevention as well as calming you (and your muscles) down after a good workout.

For a great list of stretching protocols, visit In the meantime here are some highlights on what you should and shouldn't be doing:
Do . . .

  • Ensure that the muscles being stretched are thoroughly warmed-up
  • Stretch at the end of your training session
  • Relax
  • Breathe easily
  • Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds
  • Follow an all-over body program for stretching to avoid postural imbalances
  • Follow correct technique – see the guide ‘Exercises & Stretches - The no-nonsense guide’ for detailed stretching information and photographs
  • Avoid pain, stretching should NEVER be painful!

For the don'ts, just

Don’t . . .

  • Try and stretch cold muscles – it’s a recipe for injury
  • Stretch before your warm-up or workout
  • Bounce or rock whilst holding a stretch – you could overstretch and cause an injury
  • Hold a stretch for just a few seconds
  • Hold your breath
  • Focus on just leg stretches or just upper body stretches


Join The Conversation
KadBunny KadBunny 9 years
I made the dire mistake of not stretching before (or after?) I went biking so I could not move for two days. Yay for stretching!
beautiful1nes beautiful1nes 9 years
I stretch every day just for the heck of it. I want to be able to do the splits and I know you're suppose to stretch b4 you start to practice the splits. Plus I have messed up knees they pop every time I bend down and idk why its f'd up but it feels good to stretch them.
lintacious lintacious 9 years
i stretch before running and stretch throughout the day at work. it relaxes me at work and, ironically, gets me pumped up before a run. i also really really like stretching when I first wake up - it really awakens me. I've never pulled a muscle or had any strain - but I don't stretch as hard as I would after a run.
Katikins Katikins 9 years
I thought it was a good idea to stretch while sitting at your desk all day? But if you aren't supposed to stretch muscles that aren't warm then should I be taking stretch breaks at my desk? UGH! I probably will continue to do so b/c I feel really good after I do it - sitting at my desk all day is a drag and it's goog to get the blood flowing again!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I don't stretch before I run, but I do stretch afterwards. It does feel pretty good and it helps me keep myself injury free.
ccsugar ccsugar 9 years
Before my kickboxing class, the insructor will do stretches, and she "bounces/rocks" for some of the stretches. I don't because I heard it can cause injury plus I think that looks weird :P
lil-l lil-l 9 years
I don't like stretching, but I know I have to so I do. But, I too, walk for a bit, then begin my run.
ashley1 ashley1 9 years
i don't stretch before i run, to warm the muscles i usually walk two minutes before getting running. Do you think walking or stretching is a better method of warming muscles before a run?
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