Stretching: Focus on flexibility

You can stretch anytime, anywhere. Just follow these tips to do it safely and effectively.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You know exercise is important, but what about stretching? Does stretching take a back seat to your exercise routine? Not so fast.

Stretching may help you improve your range of motion and decrease your risk of injury, among other benefits.

Understand why stretching can help and how to stretch correctly.

Benefits of stretching

Studies about the benefits of stretching have had mixed results. Some research shows that stretching doesn’t reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Other studies show that lengthening the muscle and holding the stretch immediately before a sprint may slightly worsen performance.

However, research has shown that stretching can help improve flexibility, and, as a result, the range of motion of your joints.

Better flexibility may:

  • Improve your performance in physical activities
  • Decrease your risk of