Stretching: All the Right Moves

Stretching should be a regular part of your fitness routine, whether you're an athlete or just want to feel better and move more easily.

There are two main types of stretches: dynamic and static.

  • Dynamic stretches are performed repeatedly so that the stretch is felt further with each motion. Dynamic stretching works best before exercising, when you are trying to wake up your muscles before putting them to work. Athletes will often use dynamic stretches to prevent injury and loosen up before a workout or game.
  • Static stretches are deep, slow movements where a single motion is held for 10 seconds or more. Static stretching is better for cooling down and preventing your muscles from tightening up after exercise.

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from stretching. So, talk with your doctor or physical therapist about creating a stretching routine.