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Stretch to Increase Flexibility and Decrease Risk of Injury

Stretch to Increase Flexibility and Decrease Risk of Injury

Stretching will improve your flexibility, which may improve athletic performance, and decrease risk of activity based injury. Flexibility is the ability of a joint to move through its full range of motion, and is sometimes referred to as mobility. If your joints are able to move through a full range of motion unrestricted, then the risk that you will be injured during physical activity is reduced. Overall the risk of injury is reduced because the joint is free to move. Most injuries occur when the elastic tendons which attach muscles to bones are overloaded or receive trauma in the form of tiny tears. We know these injuries as muscle strains or tears.

 

Chronic stretching has been shown to increase the elastic property of tendons allowing them to physically stretch more easily. Stretching will also increase blood flow to the muscle. Don’t consider stretching a warm-up. Stretch after a workout or on a completely separate occasion. Focus on your major muscle groups and stretch evenly. Do not bounce or aim for pain, feel for tension and hold for 30 seconds 3-4 times per muscle. Consistency is key so stretch every day!