Welcome to The Stretch Life!
Use this 9-step guide to stretching for beginners to get started!
Congratulations on taking your first step to start a stretching routine. This guide will help you get started.
Did you know that stretching for as little as five minutes each day can produce significant improvements?
Some benefits you can experience include reduced stress, better circulation, greater flexibility, better sleep, and a calmer mind.
The great thing about stretching is that you can do it when it’s convenient for you, and you don’t need a gym or any equipment to get started.
You can build a habit of stretching into your daily routine wherever it works best for you.
Before You Start Stretching
It’s a good idea to ensure your muscles are awake and warmed up before stretching.
If you’re stretching during the day, your body may already be warmed up and ready.
However, if you plan to stretch in the morning, at night, or after sitting for a long period of time, then it’s a good idea to walk around and warm up your body before you begin.
Make sure your blood is flowing, and your muscles aren’t tight.
It’s a good idea to check with a physician before starting a stretching routine.
Stretching For Beginners
Here are some guidelines and recommendations to help you get started.
These suggestions will help you develop safe, proper, and positive stretching practices.
Here are nine helpful guidelines for new stretchers ready to start.
Stretching For Beginners: 9-Step Guide
1. Start with static stretching.
Static stretching is one of the safest, easiest, and most rewarding ways to stretch.
It involves stretching your muscle to the point of muscle tension and holding it there.
You want to ease into each stretch—no bouncing or jerking.
2. Begin with basic stretches.
If you are beginning a stretching routine, your goal is to start with basic stretches.
While there are plenty of advanced stretching techniques that you can find online, it’s best to start with basic stretches.
Here are the basic stretches I recommend starting with.
- Standing Hamstring Stretch
- Seated Hamstring Stretch
- Quadricep Stretch
- Butterfly Stretch
- Shoulder Stretch
- Calf Stretch
- Seated Piriformis Stretch
- Tricep Stretch
- Frog Stretch
- Sphinx Pose or Cobra Stretch
- Standing Side Bend Stretch
You can search these stretches on Google or Youtube to learn more.
3. Follow the “no pain” rule.
You may have heard the saying, “No pain. No gain.”
This is different when it comes to stretching.
When you stretch properly, you SHOULD NOT experience pain.
Stretching puts tension in your muscles, but it should not be painful.
As a rule of practice, when you are static stretching, you want to reach your furthest point before you experience pain and back off the tension by about ten or twenty percent.
4. Breathe with purpose.
Pay attention to your breathing when you stretch.
It’s best to relax and inhale before you stretch.
Exhale as you move into your stretch and release your breath.
Continue to breathe deeply and slowly.
5. Hold each stretch for 45 seconds.
Studies show that the optimum time to hold each stretch is between 30 seconds and one minute.
To get started, hold your stretch for 45 seconds and rest for one minute in between stretches.
Continue stretching each muscle for about five reps.
Repeat this two or three times per week for optimal results.
7. Stretch to the point of stretch awareness.
When you start stretching, find your farthest resistance point and hold your stretch there.
If you experience pain, you’re pushing too far.
The point of stretch awareness is where you feel resistance but no pain.
This is where you want to hold your stretch.
9. Be consistent.
Develop a consistent stretching routine and make it a daily habit.
Choose a time during the day that fits into your schedule.
Ready, Set, Stretch!
Stretching regularly is a great way to improve your overall health and well-being.
Best of all, you can fit stretching into your regular daily activities.
Challenge yourself by creating a 10, 30, or 60-day challenge to stretch daily and achieve your goals!