Benefits of Stretching
The following are several chronic training benefits gained from using a regular stretching
• Improved flexibility, stamina (muscular endurance), and muscular strength. The degree
of benefit depends on how much stress is put on the muscle. Medium or heavy
stretches are recommended. You can do this by building up to doing long stretches
of high intensity (see the next section for a detailed explanation of light, medium,
and heavy stretching).
• Reduced muscle soreness, aches, and pains. Use only very light stretches if muscle
• Improved flexibility with the use of static or PNF stretches. Medium or heavy stretches
• Good muscular and joint mobility.
• More efficient muscular movements and fluidity of motion.
• Greater ability to exert maximum force through a wider range of motion.
• Prevention of some lower back problems.
• Improved appearance and self-image.
• Improved body alignment and posture.
• Better warm-up and cool-down in an exercise session.
• Try to include all the major muscle groups in any stretching program.
• Do at least two different stretches for each joint movement.
• Before any physical activity, use light stretches as part of the warm-up.
• After an exercise routine, cool down with medium-intensity stretches.
• If muscles are sore after exercising, use only light stretches two or three times with a
5- to 10-second hold for each stretch performed.
• If muscle soreness persists for several days, continue using light stretches two or three
times with a 5- to 10-second hold for each stretch performed.
• The majority of the stretches should be static.