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.
Doing the wrong type of stretching
There are two main types of stretches, dynamic and static stretches. And depending on what physical activities you are doing, you will need to prioritize one over the other.
Dynamic stretches help you stretch through your full range of motion, which means you don’t hold a stretch when doing dynamic stretches.
On the other hand, static stretches are the type of stretches where you need to hold your stretch.
In particular, static stretches are great for cool-down exercises while dynamic stretches work well for warm-up exercises.
Stretching too fast
Stretching is not a race, and it is not like other exercises where doing it faster makes it more intense. When it comes to stretching, you will need to do things gradually and focus on the stretching aspect of it.
Doing your stretches too fast is not only ineffective but can also lead to injury.
When you first start stretching, you may probably not be able to move through your full range of motion just yet. And that is totally fine!
Even if you are physically fit, if you force yourself to overstretch, you may hurt yourself. Even basic stretches can turn into dangerous stretches as a result.
It can also lead to what’s called hypermobility, which means a joint gets too loose and unstable.
When it comes to building your flexibility, slow and easy is the way to go. Jumping into it when your body and muscles have yet to adjust may lead to serious injury. Be sure to do things in moderation, and don’t overdo your stretches.
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