10 Stretches to Keep you Fit for Life
There are two basic types of stretching – static stretching and dynamic stretching, according to Master Trainer Vince Liguori. “Static stretching means a stretch is held in a challenging but comfortable position for a period of time, usually somewhere between 10 to 30 seconds. Static stretching is the most common form of stretching found in general fitness and is considered safe and effective for improving overall flexibility.”
Liguori also explains that “dynamic stretching is a form of stretching beneficial in sports utilizing momentum from form, and the momentum from static-active stretching strength, in an effort to propel the muscle into an extended range of motion not exceeding one's static-passive stretching ability.”[slideshow:82294]
Director of Personal Fitness coaching Anna Nemeckay says that the most common mistake people make when it comes to stretching is when they do it. “An example would be to stretch before a workout. This would NOT be beneficial; in fact studies have shown that stretching before a workout can actually decrease strength, thus putting increased stress on the joints leading to possible injury.”
That being said, make sure you are breathing correctly. Breathe in while you stretch, and breathe out to relax the muscle. "Take it easy and don't overstretch!” Movement Specialist Joshua Holland says. “Focus on easing into the different patterns and releasing slowly. Take your time and don't rush through the stretches."