Stretching muscles is one of the most relaxing and beneficial exercises for the human body.
Loosening up our muscles offer great health and mental benefits and allow us to live a life free of tension and a lack of flexibility.
But, the problem with stretching is that it is so often don in the wrong way and can often cause more harm than good.
The reality is that our bodies are not invincible, and when we rest them, our muscles tighten up and relax.
If we enter tough physical exercise without warming them up, we risk injury through muscle tears, strains or even tendon damage.
It is for this reason why stretching is so important. It relaxes or muscles, warms them up and prepares us for the challenge ahead.
But to stretch properly it is firstly essential we know which muscles to work on and understanding what parts of your body will be used in the exercise ahead.
While a good overall routine is good, you really should be emphasizing on the muscles tat will be most heavily used in the workout.
Once these muscles are identified, a brief walk or jog should be done before any stretching starts just to get your blood flowing and allow your muscles to be more receptive.
There are many theories on how long each stretch should be held for, and just how far you should go.
The most commonly accepted practice is that each muscle you work on should be stretched for at least 30 seconds and held at a resistance level which you an breath normally and not feel too much pain.
The stretches should also not be forced, or bounced. They should be easy and gradual movements to allow you muscles to respond.
It is also important never to overstretch and push further that you should go. If you do, you could tear muscles and even dislocate parts of your body.
And once your workout is complete, remember to stretch down again at the end!