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Can Stretching Improve Sports Performance and Reduce the Risk of Injury?

Stretching and strengthening tend to go hand-in-hand for optimal physical performance. But, are the benefits of stretching rooted in science? Can it actually improve sports performance and ward off future injuries?

In this article, we’ll discuss the proven benefits of stretching, whether you’re a professional athlete or stay active for your health. 

Stretching for Sports Performance

Stretching regularly helps keep your muscles flexible, improves circulation, and improves range of motion. All of these benefits can lead to greater sports performance. In fact, clinical research has confirmed that stretching regularly improves jump height, force, and speed, all of which can notably enhance your athletic performance

Additionally, dynamic stretching can directly boost power performance when it’s done immediately before working out. Dynamic stretching includes movements that bring the joints and muscles through a complete range of motion. This is the opposite of static stretching, which involves holding a position for around 30 seconds. 

Stretching for Injury Prevention

Stretching benefits injury prevention by increasing flexibility and range of motion. Keeping your muscles flexible by stretching reduces the force on your muscles with physical activity. Less force leads to a lower risk of injury!

However, to reap the benefits of stretching, it’s important to stretch properly. Here are some tips:

  • Stretching shouldn’t hurt, so stop if you experience pain. Pain is a sign that you’re over-stretching. 
  • Stretch both sides of the body evenly to prevent imbalances. 
  • Breathe normally while you stretch. 
  • Hold each stretch for around 30 seconds; if you don’t hold the stretch for long enough, you’re unlikely to experience its benefits. 
  • Stretch while you’re warm, or warm up before stretching. 

Stretching is an essential part of any well-rounded fitness routine. For professional, personalized guidance, request an appointment at Florida Wellness Medical Group today!