Cool DownWhy stretch?
Stretching after exercise is very important. The benefits from stretching are that you may prevent injury, bring the shortened muscles back to their original length, and reduce or avoid post exercise stiffness. When you stretch you are trying to increase the range of movement around a joint or a group of joints. This helps to strengthen the joint and to increase the flow of blood into the muscles around the joint.
During activity the muscle shortens, you notice this when the muscle gets tight and hard. To reduce or even prevent post exercise muscle stiffness you are now trying to lengthen and loosen the muscle back to its pre-exercise level. You should hold the stretch for between 10 - 30 seconds.