Introduction: Top 6 Stretching Exercises

Dave demonstrates six key stretching exercises to help enhance your range of motion and prevent injury. Active.com hosts the world's largest directory of sports and recreational activities, facilities, venues and classes, which includes more than 66,000 races, leagues, tournaments, camps and other recreational listings in over 80 sports and 5,000 cities.

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Maverchick (author)2009-05-29

Nothing about a warm up? Warming up before stretching increases body temperature which increases the elastic properties of collagen in muscles and tendons, thus increasing the effectiveness of the stretch. Sure its okay to stretch at home, in fact its great. But cold muscles don't stretch, you can really hurt yourself if you don't warm up. Especially on those stretches where a partner manipulates you. They could apply a damaging force on your muscles/joints before you could even say "oh wait! stop!"

Furthermore static stretching before working out or competing can actually reduce performance and increase the chance of injury. Its better to do dynamic stretches before and static stretches after. Ballistic stretching, if not done correctly, can trigger a stretch reflex which causes a muscle contraction, which limits the stretch potential.

And you should never push or pull on the knee joint. Its a joint that is extremely vulnerable to lateral forces. As for putting your hands behind your head- don't intertwine your fingers. Instead place the fingers of the right hand lightly about two inches behind the right ear, the left fingers about two inches behind the left ear. The natural inclination is to push or brace, but with your fingers so far apart, and lightly resting on your head, you can't exert as much damaging force.

I really like some of these stretches but its important to put the emphasis on safety. The subjects in the video are (atypically) well trained. Not everyone will be.

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