Advertisement

How far should I go into a stretch?

How far you stretch is specific to each joint & muscle.  Every joint has a range of motion limit.  For instance, most of us know our knees are made to extend to 0 degrees, but not made to hyper-extend.  If you stretch into hyper-extension, you start to cause ligament laxity and develop an unstable knee. 

Now this concept is true for every joint.  Every joint has a range of motion limit and if forced to far, the joint can become unstable.  So joints should only be moved through their natural ranges of motions.

Since every person is different, how far you move into a stretch varies by the tightness of the muscle you are stretching. A good rule of thumb is to move slowly into every stretch until you reach the first feeling of tension in the muscle. Then, hold that position for 30 seconds to help lengthen (stretch) the muscle. Slowly move out of the stretch to avoid injury.

Continue Learning about Stretching

Start Your Mornings With a Stretch
Start Your Mornings With a Stretch
In October of 2008, a mare named Donnaguska entered her first race at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, IL. The announcer noted that the inexperienced ...
Read More
How do I stretch the back of my neck?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Stand with your feet pointed straight ahead and placed shoulder-width apart.  Keep your knees slight...
More Answers
What should I avoid when doing the neck extensor stretch exercise?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
When stretching the neck extensors, make sure you relax and don’t tense up your muscles as you’r...
More Answers
How Do I Foam Roll My Hamstrings?
How Do I Foam Roll My Hamstrings?

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.