Even the workout beginners know the importance of stretching and how each stretching session, before and after workouts, goes a long way in preventing injuries and soreness. But while the need for stretching is felt by both novice and seasoned fitness enthusiasts, the impact of the common mistakes one makes while stretching often goes unheeded until an injury occurs. Most times, even in the event of any injury or mishap caused by such errors, it does not strike anyone to attribute the injury to faulty stretching methods.

Since prevention is better than cure, we thought we will update you on the common stretching mistakes so that you don’t fall prey to these silly mistakes.

Here we go:

Mistake #1: Not warming up before stretching: The first mistake most people make when it comes to stretching is thinking that warming up and stretching are the same. They are not.Your body temperature needs to rise up in order to warm up your muscles before you safely carry on with stretching.

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Mistake #2: Working the wrong muscle: Most people tend to stretch muscles that are already loosened up like, say, shoulders which do not have as much tension as the back of the knee, especially if you’re sitting in front of your computer for most part of the day. So while you’re pulling muscles that are already stretched, you’re ignoring the ones that are tight.

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Mistake #3: Moving too fast between stretches: For best results, stretching should be done slowly and smoothly. Moving too fast from one stretch to another will give you results the opposite of what you seek. Unlike working out where speed is a good factor, slow speed is good for stretching where it increases its effectiveness.

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Mistake #4: Static stretches before exercising: In static stretches, you stand still and work only one muscle or muscle group which is not ideal as a pre-workout stretch. Instead, engage in dynamic stretches that will give your muscles the revving up they need before exercising them. Lunges are a great example.

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Mistake #5: Holding your breath: Pay attention to your breathing! If you’re holding your breath, you’re tightening your muscles. Draw slow, steady breaths throughout the stretching session to achieve maximum results. One way to help you check your breathing is to add some kind of equipment to your stretches.

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So, these are the common culprits that can affect your stretching. Now that you are aware of them, make sure you avoid them to make your stretching smooth and effective and have a happy workout session.

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