But the reality is that whenever you feel any sort of pain or serious discomfort when you exercise, you are doing it wrong.
In particular, stretches should not feel painful. You may feel some strain or difficulty when stretching, and that is alright. But if it starts to feel painful, you need to stop. You may seriously hurt yourself if you push your muscles.
Having poor posture or form
Just like other exercises, you need to have proper posture and form when you are stretching. If you start out stretching with poor form, you are doing bad stretches and it is not a good habit to develop.
It would be a good idea to learn from fitness trainers or a friend who knows what they are doing. This helps lower the risk of injury and also improves the quality of your stretching.
Holding your breath when holding a stretch
This is a common mistake that a lot of people make when they start stretching. Holding your breath makes stretching more difficult since it makes your muscles tense and more resistant.
Try to breathe normally when stretching and you will notice a world of difference.
Not doing warm-up exercises beforehand
Before you start stretching, it would be a good idea to do some warm-up exercises. Warm-up exercises help to get your body ready for exercise, as it helps loosen your muscles and joints and gets the blood flowing in your body.
This would make it easier to stretch, and also helps prevent injury.
‘Bouncing’ when stretching
Another common mistake is ‘bouncing’ when holding a stretch. If you keep on doing this, it may lead to a pulled muscle.
Instead of bouncing, try to move slowly into the stretch. There is no need to rush things as your goal here is to stretch your muscles to make them more flexible.
Not doing it consistently
The key to stretching is to do it properly and to do it often. You need to be consistent and try to stretch for a few minutes each day to help keep your body limber and flexible.