How long do I hold a stretch?

cardio, exercise, Olumia Life, sore, stiff, strength training, stretching

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There’s no magic number for how long you should hold a stretch. Instead, medical research points to a time of about 10 to 30 seconds as best. And there’s a couple reasons for this:

  • Stretch Reflex: This is the body’s natural contraction response of any muscle being stretched, which is why you should always stretch slowly. Holding a stretch for 10 to 30 seconds gives your body time to grow accustomed to the stretch, thereby reducing the stretch reflex.
  • Lengthening Reaction: This is pretty much the opposite of the stretch reflex. When the muscle is stretched, the lengthening reaction keeps it from contracting and helps it to relax—this protects the muscle against injury.

Remember, no matter how long you hold your stretch, you should never bounce or hold your breath while you do it.

Stretches should be relaxed; increase the stretch gradually, but never to the point of pain. Take slow, relaxed breaths while stretching; exhale during the maximum points of the stretch. The breaths will help you feel more release of tension.

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