Best Stretching Routines for Avoiding Injuries

best stretching routines - series I & II

The best stretching routines target and protect every major muscle group in the body. Protect, you say? That's right. Stretching provides your muscles with protection. And when you understand why - you'll be less inclined to skip that part of your exercise regime. (We hope!)

Here's how it works: Stretching lengthens your muscles and tendons, which in turn increases your flexibility. When your flexibility increases, your chance of injury decreases because flexible limbs and joints are able to move further without injury.

Stretching Tips:

  • Stretch all of your major muscle groups.
  • Use a full range of motion around the joints while stretching (i.e. move each joint as far as possible in all directions without feeling pain).
  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds (according to the research, that's the optimal lengthening period) [1].
  • Breath deeply and concentrate on relaxing into the stretch every time you exhale.
  • Stretch opposing muscle groups equally (i.e. the quads & hamstrings).
  • Avoid bouncing (this could tear your muscles and injure joints).

Our 6 & 12 minute stretching routines feature all of the tips above... and more! We've even ordered the stretches for optimum results.

Did you realize that stretching your calves before stretching your hamstrings allows you to stretch your hamstrings more fully? Well, we do... and we've got you covered.

Stretching Routines 1 & 2

Both stretching routines focus on the major muscle groups. If you are looking for a more comprehensive stretch, choose the 12-minute routine. If you are in a time crunch, choose the 6-minute stretch.

The PDF charts accompanying the routines contain active links. Clicking on the underlined terms in the chart opens a window containing a photo-description of that particular stretch. It couldn't be easier -- unless you're not connected to the internet -- then it's impossible!

Don't have time to check out our best stretching routines now? Download both charts and review them later. You'll need adobe reader to do that. Click here to download adobe.

Download 'em, print 'em, email 'em to a friend, they're free!

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  1. Brandy W, Irion J. The effect of time on static stretch on the flexibility of the hamstring muscles. Physical Therapy: Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association. 1994; 74(9): 845-850. Physical Therapy Journal Website. Accessed Feb 2010.

    Click the link above, and then "Begin Manual Download" in the upper left corner to download the pdf file.

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