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Can stretching actually benefit my performance?

Yes, a consistent stretching program can improve sports performance, especially for athletes who have tight and stiff muscles and joints. Static stretching (holding a stretch for 30 seconds) will help improve joint range of motion, unwanted stress on your joints, and even psychologically prepare you for activity. Another form of stretching is called dynamic stretching. This form of stretching is good for individuals and athletes who need to warm-up prior to exercise or sports competition. This form of stretching can be performed on its own (if the indivdual does not have tight/stiff muscles) or after completing a series of static stretches. Dynamic stretches are low-intensity exercises that mimic the type of movements an individual may perform during their workout or sporting event. These stretches help increase circulation, reduce muscle tightness, and help your nervous system's ability to contract muscles forcefully. Examples dynamic stretches include: prisoner squats, walking lunges with rotation, and hip swings.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.