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When following an exercise regime, it is recommended that one follows a balanced program. for example not just exercising the biceps every day but also the triceps (just an example).

I would like to know if the same applies with stretching. If one stretches a muscle, should the opposing muscle(s) also be stretched? For examples if the quadriceps are stretched, should one also stretch the hamstrings (another example).

  • If you want to stretch you hamstrings, then do it. There isn't any rule about this. Why do you want to stretch? – Chris Oct 27 '19 at 22:29
  • Please do not answer in comments. – JohnP Oct 29 '19 at 13:57
  • @Chris the question is whether stretching one muscle means I should stretch related muscles as well. – Aesir Oct 29 '19 at 14:02
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are you asking for warming up or physical therapy reasons?

for physical therapy reasons... Depends. sometimes one muscle is tight and needs stretched because the opposing muscle is weak.If you have weak back and workout your chest all the time then your chest will be very tight but your back will not be.. so there will be no need to stretch your back.

Other than doing stretches to warm up, uch as dynamic stretches.. generally muscles have a reason they are tight and need to be stretched. tight hamstrings can be a result of lower crosseed syndrome, and to fix them you workout your hams, abs, and glutes, as stretching them can make them worse.

for warming up: stretching before a workout to warmup is fine. and you only need to stretch the muscles being used during a workout. stretching your biceps before doing bicep curls is fine.. but your triceps do not have a heavy enough workload as antagonist muscles to need stretching or warming up

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This might answer your question: In my opinion, the five most important muscles and areas to stretch are: First, your hip flexors. Second, your Pectoralis Minor. Third is the extension of your Thoracic Spine. Fourth is your Piriformis. And number five is your suboccipitals. Other people might come up with a slightly different list. The reason for this list is, as @Ace says, these are the muscles that are typically tight on people. Three of these (Pec Minor, Suboccipitals, Thoracic Extension) get tight because of cell phone use. Your hip flexors get tight because of sitting. So, as @Ace says, you stretch things that are tight.

However, I would disagree with @Ace when he says that you should stretch your biceps before doing bicep curls. There is loads of research which shows that stretching a muscle decreases the power and speed of that muscle for a period of time afterwards. Also, it is highly unlikely, in my experience that you have tight biceps.

  • I should clarify I really just used biceps and triceps as an example because I knew the names of them. The question was really a general one. I will look into those muscle groups you suggest for stretching for sure! – Aesir Nov 7 '19 at 19:00

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