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How long should you hold a stretch?

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

There are lots of opinions in stretching floating around, but the one thing I always do is stick to what works, what is effective and this is what I teach to my clients. Everything is based on years of experience and exercises that I do myself in my own private workouts!

For many who don't know where to start with fitness, then stretching is a good place to start! For those who know about fitness then stretching is a good place to start!

Stretching is a great way to prepare your body for your workout. It CAN be done from cold (not initially being warmed up), as stretching is a warm up in itself.

Stretching has to be structured, as the customary fifteen second ham and quad stretch doesn't really cut it or achieve anything. I see it time and time again, people rushing through stretches or simply holding a stretch for five seconds.

That doesn't achieve anything and I suggest a minimum of thirty seconds up to two minutes per stretch.

Gently stretching, thinking about the muscles and thinking about the joints aiming to stretch deeply and methodically.

Stretching will make you sweat and the same effort as you would put into strength training needs to be put into stretching. Stretching properly is tough but practice makes perfect. Ideally stretching should be done often as it keeps your body 'lubricated', enhances posture and looks after your muscles.

Muscles do bunch up after workouts so stretching places muscles back to their original length, easing the onset of possible DOMS. (Delayed onset of muscle soreness). Stretching is beneficial before and after any workout.

In the video here I'm going back to basics stretching the hamstrings, lower back and hips and what is sometimes called a head press. Gentle bouncing in stretching is safe provided you do it right.

These exercises are great to do any where and are what I use with my clients in mobile personal training, whether that be outdoor or at home.

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