When I first started doing yoga and stretching, it was easier to stretch when warm. Here are 6 steps to help you figure out how you can stretch properly-

Step 1: The Warm Up
It is very important to transition into an intense work out with 10 minutes of low level cardiovascular activity. Some modes of exercise that work well are jumping jacks, jump rope, martial art kicks, squat thrust, or any full body calisthenic type exercise.However, my favorite mode is power walking on the treadmill.Your starting speed should be nice and slow. I’m 5'9" and start at 3.5 mph and increase the speed by 0.1 mph every minute. Over the course of the 10 minute warm up I will go from 3.5 mph to 4.5 mph.During the 10 minute warm up, focus on a power-walking stride.

Step 2: Mild Stretching

1. Quadriceps

 Lying on your right side, pull left heel into left glutei, feeling the stretch in the front of the thigh. Repeat with the right leg

2. Hamstrings 

Lying on your back, lift and straighten one leg directly above hips. Holding the calf or thigh, press heel toward ceiling as you pull leg back toward chest. Switch legs

3. Glutes

Lying on your back, cross right leg over bent left knee. Then bring left knee to chest, holding onto the back of your thigh, gently pressing right knee wide. Switch legs.

4. Chest

Standing straight, interlace fingers behind your back as you straighten out your arms and lift chin to ceiling.

5. Triceps/shoulders

Take one arm overhead, bend at elbow joint, and extend palm down centre of your back, gently pulling elbow with opposite hand. Take same arm across the chest, gently pulling at the elbow joint, to extend through the shoulder. Switch arms.

6. Core/back

On all fours, round out your back (like an angry cat), and then invert it, making a C-shape with your spine, Repeat three times. Then sit back between your heels, forehead on the mat, arms extended in front of you, as you lengthen your back. Now, pat yourself on the back’and go have a big glass of water!

Step 3: Intense Exercise

If you want to gain muscle and lose fat you must incorporate resistance training with free weights, kettle bells, functional exercises, and plyo-metrics.You’ll want to push your muscles to failure in the 10 -15 rep range for 2 or 3 sets per exercise.

Step 4: Intense Stretching

During the last half of the intense exercise session, stretch out each target muscle after each exercise.Each stretch should last 4-5 seconds as you let your breath out and elongate the loose muscle. Increase the stretch a little bit on each progressive stretch, up to 6 times.Why - To elongate and relax muscles.

Step 5: The Cool Down

Step 6: Take rest