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Stretching is the best thing we can do to ease our stiff shoulders after hours spent at the office, or to increase the flexibility of muscles before a workout. However, doing a stretch improperly can be harmful, leading to sprains and strains or worse. Let’s learn how to stretch the right way and avoid making these common mistakes for a safe stretching routine.

#1 Not holding a stretch long enough

This is probably the most common mistake. Only feeling the burn is certainly not effective at increasing the flexibility of the muscles. Instead, spend about 60 seconds on each stretch as recommended by professional trainers.

Young woman doing some warm-up exercises before running.

#2 Stretch without warming up

Stretching a cold, stiff muscle can cause a rip, so it is never a good idea to stretch before your muscles are warm.  All you need is a 10-min warm up with exercises like jogging, squats and planks, to raise your body temperature before stretch.

Woman running on jogging path in the park

#3 Stretching too hard

Pushing stretch beyond your limit can cause muscle to tear. Stretching should not be too painful but just enough to feel mild tension in your muscles. Do not over do it.

Runner Warming Up Before Running

#4 Holding your breath

Most people tend to hold their breath when they feel the uncomfortable tension of a stretch. Remember to breathe deeply while stretching to help the muscles relax and get rid of lactic acid build up.

Young woman doing some warm-up exercises before running.


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