- Before your physical activity
Stretching is useful when preparing for an activity that requires a high range of motion, such as figure skating or gymnastics. It helps you perform movements safely in extreme positions.
In sports requiring speed (running), bursts of energy (sprinting, jumping) or other movements (cycling, swimming), stretching doesn’t improve performance, prevent aches or injuries, or warm up the muscles. Dynamic stretching is preferable for these types of activities.
- After your activity
It’s useful to stretch after exercising to improve your flexibility. The motion allows muscles to return to their original length and relax. It also restores joint mobility.
- In your everyday life, to maintain good overall flexibility
The stress of daily life affects most muscles and causes stiffness that can lead to pain. People who sit all day often adopt a poor posture resulting in backaches. Many other examples can be cited. These moments of stiffness have consequences in our everyday life and can even cause a variety of problems when playing sports (pain, injury, etc.).
Stretching every day is the best way to stay flexible and prevent these types of problems. Stretches performed in the evening after work or to unwind after a sporting or leisure (e.g. walking, cycling) activity are a good idea.
Did you know?
Muscles can be stretched to up to 150% of their normal length.