Flexibility Training Principles

1. Warm-up before you stretch prior to exercise.
- When stretching before an activity it is recommended that you perform 3 to 5 minutes of low intensity exercise to warm the bodies core temperature (breaking a sweat is a good indicator that your body is warm).

2. Stretch before and after any type of intense physical activity.
- Post-activity stretching facilitates maximal gains in range of motion because of increased muscle temperature.
- Additionally, post-activity stretching helps remove many of the metabolic by-products of exercise and may help to decrease delayed onset muscular soreness.
- It should be performed within 5 to 10 minutes after activity

3. Stretch the entire body.
- Perform at least one stretch for each of the major muscle groups.
Neck
Shoulders
Chest
Back
Hips
Quadriceps
Hamstrings
Calf
Dorsi-flexors

4. Perform each stretch with proper form.
- Follow the guidelines presented in each stretch description.

5. Stretch slowly and with control.
- Move the body slowly into the proper stretching position.
- Slowly increase the intensity of the stretch for 10-15 seconds.
- Stretch to the point of mild discomfort (you should not experience real pain).
- Don't hold your breath; breath slowly and rhythmically while holding the stretch.

6. Hold each stretch for 10 - 30 seconds.
- Stretching for less then 10 seconds has been shown not to produce significant increases in flexibility.

7. Perform each stretch one to three times per workout.

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