Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific skeletal muscle (or muscle group) is deliberately stretched.

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8k views

Should I stretch after exercise?

Are there benefits with stretching right after exercising? Does stretching afterwards affect the risk of injury?
34
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10answers
80k views

How important is it that a person be able to touch their toes?

For as long as I can remember, I've heard the question "can you touch your toes?" asked by people trying to ascertain another person's physical fitness. I've grown up thinking that being able to touch ...
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1answer
4k views

Daily stretch routine to increase flexibilty and overall fitness?

Is there a standard (as much as can be standard) stretch routine that if used regularly over a period of time will increase/maintain flexibility and help my overall fitness level? I have a set of ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Safe training regime to work towards center and front splits

I want to improve my flexiblity to be able to to center and front splits. Is there any safe exercise program to follow which will lead me to this goal? During the week I have time to stretch for 10 ...
12
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3answers
3k views

What is a good early morning stretch routine?

I'm 45 and play squash once or twice a week in the evenings. I am an early riser, but have never been an early morning exerciser. I do enjoy early morning meditation, though. I am finding that I am ...
12
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2answers
641 views

Stretching while cold, with no intent to exercise: any benefit?

I can find many opinions and a few scientific articles on stretching prior to exercise, with the takeaway that it probably doesn't help and might hurt a bit for that exercise session. I have very ...
12
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1answer
452 views

Overhead Squat Assistance Work

My next fitness goal is 15 overhead squats with a barbell that has been loaded with my own bodyweight. I just went today and tried my first set. After lots of stretching and warmups, I did three ...
11
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1answer
203 views

What exercises produce longer, higher running jumps?

I want a higher and longer jump. What exercises should I use to jump further and higher? I'm specifically talking about jumping from a running start. I am only interested in bodyweight exercises for ...
11
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1answer
6k views

Why is my outer hip tight when doing some inner thigh stretches?

Bound angle pose (pictured below) is supposed to stretch the inner thigh muscles and groin, but I can't even get to the point of feeling anything in in those areas because something in my outer hips ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Should I stretch before doing pullups?

I've just gotten strong enough to do pullups for the first time in my life. Should I stretch before I do them? If so, what stretches?
10
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2answers
341 views

Recommendations for a weight program to support martial arts competition

Ok, going along the vein of a man who coaches himself has a fool for a client, I am looking for recommendations on a training cycle to support competing in martial arts forms and weapons competitions, ...
9
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3answers
459 views

Should I stretch every day?

For workouts, I know that it's not effective to train the same muscle group every day because the muscle needs time to recover. Does the same principle also apply to stretching? Is it still ...
9
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1answer
232 views

Does stretching interfere at all with strength gain or injury susceptibility in resistance training?

I searched through the site and couldn't find a good answer to this. Does stretching (to improve flexibility) interact or slow the muscle building and strength increasing benefits of weight training? ...
8
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4answers
422 views

Lower back pain relief

I have been weight training for 18 months, and in the past few months have started to get lower back pain. I particularly feel it when I wake up in the morning. Nothing too serious or painful but I ...
8
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2answers
395 views

How to properly stretch muscles in neck

My favorite stretch to loosen up neck muscles had been doing circles and rolling my head around in 360 degrees of motion a few times then switching direction. I've heard from people and on the news ...
8
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1answer
365 views

What are workouts or stretches to increase flexibility for the splits?

What kind of workout or stretches can I do to increase my range of motion? I want to be able to do a split (I am quite close). What kind of stretch should I do?
7
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3answers
18k views

Loosening tight muscles?

I have some extremely tight upper back muscles that seemingly no amount of stretching can loosen. What are some alternate or supplemental approaches I can take to loosen tight muscles outside of the ...
7
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2answers
24k views

Why do my legs hurt while jumping rope?

I used to skip in the passed, but always ended up stopping after a week when I could no longer handle the pain in the lower legs, i.e. knees, shins, feet. Looking at these diagrams from Foottrainer....
7
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2answers
121k views

Sore after work out - can't straighten arm

I'm in good aerobic shape but never did strength training. Yesterday, I did some basic strength work, using both dumbbells and machines. Nothing too crazy - I started light and built my way up. I ...
7
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3answers
979 views

How to properly stretch your Iliotibial Band?

I've recently heard about having a tight Iliotibial Band and how its important to stretch it. However since I've been stretching it (gentle 30 second stretches, a variety of them in succession), it ...
7
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3answers
363 views

What sort of stretching routines, if any, should be included in the Starting Strength program?

It seems like the Starting Strength program lacks any sort of stretching routines. Should any form of stretching be done after the workouts or on your off days? Or is it completely unnecessary for the ...
7
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3answers
960 views

Where can I find stretching exercise information where it tells you how far you need to go?

I’ve been reading The Complete Guide to Stretching recently in an effort to help find some solutions to muscle aching problems I have. The hypothesis I’ve been operating under is that I have muscle ...
7
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3answers
24k views

Strengthening and healing the psoas (leg-lifting) muscle

A few months ago I hurt my psoas muscle and a couple of ligaments around it. I've been off of it since then and it's been healing and I'd like to get back into the things that I had to quit. I'd ...
6
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6answers
5k views

How can I stretch hamstrings in isolation?

I have strong, very short hamstrings, and a weak, flexible lower back. If I try to touch my toes, I get about 1/2-way down my shins. However, most of that mobility is in my lower back. If I lie on my ...
6
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1answer
442 views

Overstretching to increase flexibility

I attend regular martial arts classes (about 3-4 a week). We spend a lot of time stretching, particularly the hip area and the legs, to increase flexibility. Often after some classes where we do a ...
6
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1answer
97 views

What is a reasonable schedule for increasing flexibility?

I have terrible general flexibility, which both causes discomfort and affects my form when exercising (for example, I fall off balance any time I try and do a squat). This is something that I'd very ...
6
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3answers
457 views

How should a proper stretching workout look like? How to warm up for it?

How should a proper stretching session look like? How should I warm up or cool down for a stretching training? And how long should they be and what exercises should they exactly consist of? Should I ...
6
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1answer
3k views

I can run better after swimming, how come?

I found out that when I go swimming in the evening (from 5:30 - 6:30), that my running (from 8:30 - 9:30) seems to go a lot better. (Eg. I'm less tired, I have less need for stretching - I stretch to ...
6
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2answers
794 views

What exercises can someone with Ligamentous laxity do for supple and strong muscles

I have been diagnosed with Ligamentous laxity. I have practiced numerous sports, but have hurt my joints repeatedly. I need exercises, preferably using my body weight. I also want to focus on ...
6
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1answer
32 views

General stretches for a group of dancers?

I do modern dancing and my teacher asked me to lead the warm-up / stretch for the other students before class starts. I know that individuals have different needs and should probably have specialized ...
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5answers
152 views

Distinguish stretching from warming up?

I've recently started running and I'm having a hard time distinguishing warm-up from stretching exercises. I've read that I should do warm-up before running and stretch after running. Is that correct? ...
5
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3answers
5k views

What are some good stretches to help with squatting?

It seems a lot of form problems with the squats are caused by inadequate flexibility - I think mainly in the hamstrings and also the shoulders. What are some good stretches that can be used to ...
5
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2answers
9k views

Proper way to stretch the pectoral muscles

What is the best way to do pectoral stretches? A specialist recommended that besides avoiding bench presses and strengthening my back, I should stretch my pectoral muscles as often as possible, as ...
5
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2answers
581 views

How to relax the palm muscles after cycling?

I cycled 200 km. My palms are feeling a bit numb and like a mild electric shock is passed through my palms. Can anyone please suggest any relaxation exercise for my palms?
5
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3answers
839 views

Is stretching cold muscles before cycling harmful?

For most of my life, I stretched out before cycling to avoid cramps or pulling a muscle. However, I discovered last year that I could skip stretching exercises in favor of a slightly extended warm-up ...
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3answers
15k views

Stretches/exercises to sit cross legged

I'm a reasonably fit male with an athletic background, but can't sit cross-legged. Whenever I do, my knees stay really high and I have to really bend my ankles to get into the position at all. When I ...
5
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1answer
100 views

Is there a stretching equivalent of the food pyramid?

As most people know, the food pyramid the diagram at the depicts all the essential food one should eat to maintain a healthy diet. The pyramid serves to guide individuals to make better choices when ...
5
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3answers
363 views

Hamstrings and running intervals

I've started doing some running intervals/speedwork and notice that my hamstrings get pretty sore afterwards. I do some off-day stretching, although I probably could do more. Should I push ahead and ...
5
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2answers
5k views

Stretches and muscle work for Supination or Underpronation

I've recently had issues with my IT Band, did all the stretches and PT. And it did not work. I recently decided to try out my old pair of running shoes(on a whim), that originally were bothering my ...
5
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1answer
595 views

Can you overuse a foam roller?

Can you over use foam rolling? what are the negative impacts? I'm using it 3x a week post weight routines. Has anyone had any negative experiences?
5
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1answer
166 views

Source for flexibility training

I want to become more flexible. Unfortunately, there's lots of conflicting and unsourced material on stretching and flexibility training out there. Could anyone point me to a reputable source for ...
4
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3answers
320 views

When bending forward to touch toes, why is bad to bounce?

My yoga instructor always asks me not to bounce while trying to touch my toes. I'm not able to statically bend and touch my toes, without bending my knees. So I used to bounce up and down. But he ...
4
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2answers
662 views

Why doesn't stretching feel good?

I hear people say they like to stretch out because it feels good. I've never had that experience. It's not painful, but it's somewhere between unpleasant and neutral. Hence, stretching is work, and I ...
4
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2answers
491 views

Fingers for intensive sports requiring hands a lot? Recoving from ulnar claw?

[Update] Thanks to the answer, I acknowledge now that I am heading towards "ulnar nerve entrapment" where one injury is Ulnar claw -- more common with males particularly training in gym with large ...
4
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3answers
481 views

Pre-workout - static vs dynamic stretches

While checking out some workout videos, I can across one from Jillian Micheals where she says, "you never want to do static stretches until after the workout is over and you're doing cool down". Why ...
4
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2answers
307 views

How far should one stretch when doing yoga?

What is the typical threshold for how far one should stretch in, say, doing a forward bend? There are different levels of discomfort—and I know one should not stretch to the point of pain, but when ...
4
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2answers
112 views

Strengthening and conditioning to improve flips

I would like to be able to do handsprings and flips. I have been spending one afternoon a week practicing cartwheels, handstands, backbends, and walkovers. Though I'm getting used to the movements, I'...
4
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1answer
191 views

What stretches can I do to kick higher in martial arts?

I'm in good physical health, exercise regularly and having been training capoeira for about a year. While technique is certainly a part of it, I've still been unable to kick more than waist high with ...
4
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1answer
153 views

What is the most effective and least time-consuming structured post-running (and post cooldown) stretching routine?

I've been following Tim Noakes' running program for approximately a week-and-half now: nice program. But I have a major quibble-cum-problem / issue: my post-running stretching routine. ... It's ...
4
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4answers
51k views

How to get rid of nerve pinch in shoulder?

I've had a nerve pinch in my right shoulder for god knows how long. I'm unable to go through the full motion of wide grip pull ups or wide grip cable pulldowns with any moderate weights. Anyone have ...