Stretching FAQs

This month I wanted to supply you with answers to questions I’m often asked on the topic of stretching. The American College of Sports Medicine holds the following positions on this often lengthy topic. View the complete article from the link below.

How long should a stretch be held?

Holding a stretch for 10-30 seconds at the point of tightness or slight discomfort enhances joint range of motion, with little apparent benefit resulting from longer durations. Older persons may realize greater improvements in range of motion with longer durations (30-60 seconds) of stretching. A 20%-75% maximum contraction held for 3-6 seconds followed by 10- to 30-seconds assisted stretch is recommended for PNF techniques (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation).

How many repetitions of stretching exercises are needed?

Repeating each flexibility exercise two to four times is effective, with enhancement of joint range of motion occurring during 3-12 weeks. The goal is to attain 60 seconds of total stretching time per flexibility exercise by adjusting duration and repetitions according to individual needs. For example, 60 seconds of stretch time can be met by two 30-seconds stretches or four 15-seconds stretches.

How often should stretching exercise be performed?

Performing flexibility exercises ≥2-3 days week is effective, but greater gains in joint range of motion are accrued with daily flexibility exercise.

https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2011/07000/Quantity_and_Quality_of_Exercise_for_Developing.26.aspx

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