Stretching is a practice that can give your body many benefits.  It promotes circulation and stamina as well as it helps to reduce tension of muscles and prevent injuries when you are engaged in physical exercises.

While stretching helps to prepare your muscles for a physical activity, it can also cause injuries if it is not done properly. You should learn the correct stretching methods in order to enjoy its benefits.   Here are some of the most effective ways to stretch for maximum performance and energy:

1. Do warm-ups

Warm-ups are necessary before you engage in any exercise or stretching routine.  This will help you to avoid tearing your muscles.  You can warm-up by taking a walk and swinging your arms at the same time before you do your stretching routine.

2. Breathe normally

You should breathe normally when stretching. Avoid taking deep breaths when you stretch because these are relaxing and they can’t help to prepare you for a strenuous exercise.

3. Don’t rush things

Stretch to prepare your muscles, nerves and joints for a heavy physical activity that can give a lot of physical tension and stress.  You should stretch at an easy pace for a sustained period.  This will help to keep you protected from injuries.

4. Don’t go beyond your stretching limits

When you stretch, just go as far as your physical limitations can take you.  Don’t go too far as it can only be a cause for unwanted injury.  Make stretching a habit.  With regular practice, you will be able to perform more challenging stretches as it can make your body more flexible.

5. Don’t bounce

Bouncing movements will result in the tightening of muscles which can defeat your purpose for stretching and they also increase your chances of getting injured.  When you stretch, you should use gentle motions.  You should also hold your stretched position for about 10 seconds before you relax.

6. Do the stretching that each particular sport requires

Not all sports use the same stretching methods because each sport uses different sets of muscles in the body.  You should know the exact stretching method that is required to prepare the specific muscles you will use for your sport.  This will help them to withstand to the demands of your sport which can sometimes become too extreme to cause pain or injury.  You should always prepare your muscles before a rigorous physical activity.

7. Be committed

Stretching is usually done before a physical game or exercise.  But being committed to stretch even if you are not scheduled to play or workout can help to make you flexible.  Be committed to stretch at least three times a week and you will soon notice its physical and mental benefits.