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Every time I stretch for a few minutes, I seem to be more flexible than before. But, after a few hours of resting, the flexibility gained seems to be lost again and my flexibility is back where I started before the first stretching, meaning I gained little/nothing. How do I prevent this from happening?

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Stretching before an exercise or stretching as an exercise? –  Kneel-Before-ZOD Apr 22 at 2:47
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Stretching is like any exercise. If you continue to do it, you increase the range. You stop doing it, you lose flexibility. And, it takes time to make flexibility have substantial increases. –  JohnP Apr 22 at 4:08
    
If you don't use it, you lose it! –  Ivo Flipse Apr 22 at 9:04
    
yes agreed, make sure you are holding for 30 secs to increase flexibility. Stick with it, improvements maybe small, but over a long period it will make a difference –  Tracy at 2bactive Apr 22 at 14:59

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The only way to gain "permanent" flexibility is to stretch chronically. Every time you stretch you will be giving your muscles an insignificantly small amount more length, that'll revert if you don't stretch often enough, but stretching chronically you will be able to add up those extremely small lengths into noticeable flexibility that lasts. You will need to continue stretching to maintain that though, as the body is always working to return to a "neutral" position.

This video here is a great resource on the subject if you have 45 minutes to spare, and will describe everything far more sufficiently than I could.

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