What are the benefits of stretching and flexibility exercises?

Flexibility training is a key component for all training programs and has several positive effects such as:

  • Correcting muscle imbalances
  • Increasing joint range of motion
  • Decreasing the excessive tension of muscles
  • Relieving joint stress
  • Maintaining the normal muscle length
  • Improving neuromuscular efficiency
  • Improving function

People who train in a repetitive fashion (or have jobs that require moving their bodies in repetitive ways) are at risk for pattern overload, which places stress on the body and can result in injury. Poor posture and repetitive movements may create dysfunctions in connective tissue, initiating the cumulative injury cycle. Stretching before exercise can reduce these risks of injury. 

Flexibility exercises, also called stretching, help keep your joints flexible and reduce your chance of injury during other activities. Gentle stretching for 5 to 10 minutes helps your body warm up and get ready for aerobic activities such as walking or swimming.

Continue Learning about Flexibility Training

Recently, someone told me that I should not stretch my hamstrings, why?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Without seeing you it is hard to tell. Most people have lengthened hamstrings and stretching the...
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Are there any other forms of flexibility training besides just stretching?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Yes, self-massage is another form of flexibility that feels much different than stretching. Self-mas...
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What stretch can I do to loosen up my lower back?
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Pelvic tilts: Laying on your back with knees bent - rock your pelvis back - flattening your back aga...
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How can I improve my flexibility so I can touch my toes?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Being able to touch your toes requires low back, hamstring, and calf flexibility. By statically stre...
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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.