Flexibility or range of motion (ROM) is how far you can reach, bend and turn. It is one important piece of our fitness level. Since as we age our muscles and joints become more stiff and tight, we need to focus or refocus on staying flexible if we want to “keep on moving”.
Use dynamic stretching and static stretching at the correct times.
Static stretching Never static stretch prior to an event or game. Static stretching will slightly slow down athletes for an hour afterwards so examine your training goals. The best way to improve overall flexibility is static stretching with 30 second stretch-holds performed away from events requiring peak performance or maybe after the event to release tension with in the muscles.
Dynamic stretching (moving stretches) such as (arm swings, hip rotations, knee rotations) will aid in the pre-competition, pre-practice warm-up process by increasing flexion in the joints and increasing body temperature. This method is preferred before athletic competition.
Stretching is a critical part of the warm-up, but stretching is NOT the warm-up. A warm-up should first include some light physical activity, a few minutes of gentle static stretching, then some sport specific warm-up physical activities, and finally a number of dynamic stretching exercises.
Check out this great video:
One of my daily static stretches is the spinal stretch which I hold for 30 seconds!
(stretches from betterdailyhabits.com)
Brad Walker’s stretching tip #1 Stretch only to the point of tension. Stretching should not be painful or pushed past the point of comfort.