Flexibility is the range of motion about a joint or combination of joints. Lack of flexibility is frequently related to improper or poor technique as well as several injuries in athletics. The inability to squat, maintain a quality athletic position, or obtain an adequate arm stride length is influenced by poor flexibility, while tight hamstrings can injuriously affect the lower back.
Stretching the body’s muscles, a method used to improve flexibility will assist in the preparation of an athletic workout or completion. This activity is non-strenuous, yet possible tearing when more vigorous exercise is performed.
Proper warm up prior to stretching is very important to ensure a quality and effective stretch. Warm-up may consist of any activity, which raises the core temperature of the body (i.e., warm up 5 – 10 minutes)
Stretching is easy to learn. But, there is a right and a wrong way to stretch. The right way is a relaxed, sustained stretch with your attention focused on the muscles being stretched. The wrong way is to bounce up and down or to stretch to the point of pain – which actually does more harm than good.
Your breathing should be slow, in rhythm, and under control. If you are bending forward to do a stretch, exhale as you bend forward and then breathe slowly as you hold the stretch. Do not hold your breath while you are stretching!!!