Stretching can be performed as a session on
its own in order to improve mobility. This is an aspect of
training which is often neglected by athletes. Good mobility
can help prevent injury.
More commonly it will precede training sessions with the aim
being to prepare the muscles for activity and reduce the risk of
prevent injury. Increasingly, athletes are finding benefit in
stretching post-training as this returns muscles to their
original state, removing "knots" and tightness formed through hard exercise.
Ill or Injured?
Stand alone stretching sessions can be particularly
useful in easier periods of training and when
training is restricted by injury or illness, since
it gives a sense of achievement on a purposeful
activity whilst expending very little energy.
You should never force a stretch. Go to the point
of tension and hold for the required amount of time. For safety
ensure yours knees and feets pointing in the same direction and avoid locking
either your elbows or knees straight.