Stretching 101


Stretching is important for maintaining range of motion and supporting the integrity of your joints. Incorporating a stretching routine into your daily wellness program can have tremendous benefits, including:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Reduced muscle soreness
  • Increased range of motion in the joints
  • Improved posture
  • Increased circulation
  • Reduced stress/increased mood
  • Decreased chance of injury

The best part of stretching is its simplicity as it requires very little, if any, equipment. The challenge most people face is knowing what to do…and what not to do. Below are some general guidelines to help you ensure that you are stretching in a way that is both safe and effective.

What to do:

  • Warm up first (anything that raises your body temp a couple of degrees)
  • Move slowly into a stretch, stopping when you feel a “pulling” sensation in the muscle
  • Hold till the “pulling” sensation decreases, and then deepen the stretch if desired
  • Breathe (take slow deep breaths, allowing the body to relax with every exhale)
  • Ensure proper technique (get proper instruction from a qualified professional)
  • Consult with a medical professional prior to commencing a new stretching/flexibility routine

What not to do:

  • Don’t stretch first thing in the morning or when cold
  • Don’t hold your breathe
  • Never “bounce”
  • Never stretch if it causes pain
  • Don’t overstretch
  • Don’t stretch an injured part of the body or unstable joint unless you have been given proper guidance/instruction from a qualified professional

The best way to ensure that you are stretching in a safe and effective way is to seek instruction from a qualified professional such as a registered massage therapist. Your therapist will work with you develop a plan specific to your individual needs and goals. Contact us to book a consultation or massage and be sure to ask your therapist what stretches will most benefit you.

Becky, RMT, FIS