Building Your Stretching Program
The first step in choosing the correct stretches to include in your program is to identify your goal. Knowing what you wish to gain from the routine will help lead you in the right direction when creating your plan.
These routines focus on the muscles that are used most or are commonly injured during the particular activity. Whether your goal is to get through daily activities, improve athletic performance, or release muscle tension, it’s important to consider the nuts and bolts that contribute to a successful program.
Although your own reason for starting a flexibility program may be different from someone else’s, the programs are built on the same fundamental elements needed to improve flexibility.
The reality is that there are right ways and wrong ways to build a stretching program. One of the nice things about stretching is that you can stretch almost anywhere and anytime.
It’s important to keep this in mind, especially for those who are on the go and find it difficult to find the spare time. Ideally, it would be nice to have a solid 15 to 30-minute block of time to dedicate to your routine most days of the week. This isn’t always feasible with a busy schedule, but exercising for even a few minutes can provide big benefits.
If you sit at a desk for much of the day, consider choosing stretches that can be done while seated or within the area of your workspace. On the contrary, if you spend most of your day standing, choose stretches that can be done while you’re standing and consider the space and objects around you that can be implemented in your routine. Pausing for a few minutes here and there, waiting in a long line at the grocery store, or finding a 5 or 10-minute break at work are examples of excellent opportunities to squeeze in a few minutes of stretching.